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Total bank advertising spending dropped in 2012 despite a big rise at ANZ as the ANZ group brings curtain down on National Bank brand

Posted in Business
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By Gareth Vaughan

Money spent on advertising by the country's banks fell about 1.5% last year despite ANZ, the country's biggest bank, ramping up its spending as it moved to phase out the National Bank brand.

According to Nielsen AIS data based on rate card value, New Zealand banks spent a total of NZ$104.1 million on advertising in 2012. That's down about NZ$1.6 million, or 1.5%, from the NZ$105.7 million they spent in 2011. See full details of the 2011 spend here

The annual drop came despite ANZ increasing its spend by about NZ$4.8 million, or about 16%, to NZ$35.24 million from NZ$30.38 million in 2011. The ANZ group confirmed the worst kept secret in New Zealand banking in late September, announcing it would phase the National Bank brand out over two years.

Following this ANZ embarked on saturation advertising with some ads having a "power of two" theme as the ANZ and National brands are brought together, almost a decade after the ANZ group bought the National Bank from Britain's Lloyds TSB. The campaign included this advert with Australian actor Simon Baker in character as Patrick Jane from television show The Mentalist.

Rivals quickly responded to news of the National Bank's demise with their own advertising targeting its customers.

Big drop in ASB's ad spending

But despite this, a big drop in advertising spending by ASB, about NZ$8.3 million, or 36%, to about NZ$14.7 million, saw industry wide advertising spending fall. ASB was, however, still the second biggest spender, closely followed by Westpac, which lifted its spending by about NZ$232,000 to NZ$14.4 million. Fourth was TSB Bank, despite cutting spending by about NZ$1.3 million to NZ$9.8 million.

Fifth biggest spender was BNZ, which eked out an increase of just over NZ$5,000 to NZ$9.73 million. Kiwibank, which celebrated its tenth anniversary last year, came in sixth, increasing advertising spending by about NZ$651,000 to NZ$8.4 million.

Seventh was the National Bank with its spending ironically higher than in 2011, albeit not by much. It rose about NZ$400,000 to NZ$4.7 million, having taken a 74% tumble, year-on-year, in 2011.

Rounding out the top 10 spenders, in order, is Rabobank, the Co-operative Bank, and HSBC.  Rural lender Rabobank spent about NZ$700,000 more in 2012 than the previous year, lifting its total to NZ$4.3 million. Formerly PSIS, the Co-operative Bank was in its first full year as a bank having obtained banking registration from the Reserve Bank in October 2011. Its advertising spending surged about NZ$1.6 million to nearly NZ$1.9 million.

Meanwhile, HSBC's spending dropped about NZ$240,000 to NZ$568,258.

National Bank was top spender in both 2008 & 2010

In both 2008 and 2010 more money was spent advertising the National Bank than any other bank. In 2008 NZ$17.585 million, or 22%, of bank advertising spend went on the National Bank and NZ$16.713 million, or 18%, in 2010. In 2009 Westpac outspent its rivals, coughing up NZ$14.207 million, compared with the second placed National Bank's NZ$10.806 million for 15% of the total compared with Westpac's 19%.

In 2010 banks spent a total of NZ$95.178 million on advertising. This was up NZ$22.045 million from 2009's NZ$73.133 million, which was down NZ$5.463 million from NZ$78.596 million in 2008, Nielsen AIS figures show.

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