ASB looking to 'develop its brand' with Saatchi & Saatchi as move to new headquarters nears

By Gareth Vaughan

Amid industry talk ASB is close to unveiling a significant rebrand, a bank spokesman says ASB staff are working with their advertising agency on the "next phase" of brand development.

Last April ASB announced it was replacing Droga5, the advertising agency that oversaw the dumping of the bank's popular and long running Ira Goldstein adverts that were replaced with the Creating Futures campaign in late 2010, with Saatchi & Saatchi from July. At the time Roger Beaumont, ASB’s executive general manager for marketing & online since just October 2011, said the bank had "opted for a change of direction" with a new agency after just two years with Droga5.

Yesterday an ASB spokesman told bank staff had been working with Saatchi & Saatchi for the last six months.

"As a natural part of the client/agency relationship, we’ve done a detailed review of our brand and how we might work together to enhance it further. While we are not looking at a ‘substantial rebrand’ as such, we are in the process of working with Saatchi & Saatchi to determine the next phase in the development of the brand. (But) I can’t give you any details in terms of timing at this point," the ASB spokesman said.

Figures released to by Nielsen AIS show a huge annual drop in ASB's advertising spending last year. The bank spent NZ$14.7 million in 2012, down a whopping NZ$8.3 million, or 36%, from NZ$23 million in 2011.

Meanwhile, ASB's on track for a mid-year shift to its new headquarters at Auckland's North Wharf, at the corner of Jellicoe and Halsey Streets at Wynyard Quarter. about 1,500 staff due to move into the new digs in June and July. The bank had 4,698 full time staff as of June 30 last year.

The new HQ is being developed by Kiwi Income Property Trust, whose manager, Kiwi Income Properties Limited, is a subsidiary of Commonwealth Bank of Australia as is ASB.  ASB is taking an 18 year lease over about 18,000 square metres of office space. See Kiwi Income Property Trust's announcement on the project here.

ASB's current HQ, ASB Tower on Albert Street, has been sold by Brookfield Multiplex  to the Auckland Council.

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