By Gareth Vaughan
ANZ New Zealand has again led the way in advertising spending among the country's big banks and again splashed out significantly more money on its ANZ brand than on the National Bank.
Figures provided to interest.co.nz by Nielsen AIS show ANZ NZ spent NZ$15.4 million on advertising its ANZ brand between January and June, more than four times the NZ$3.5 million spent advertising the National Bank. Second was ASB, which spent NZ$7.1 million on advertising. However that was down NZ$5.2 million from what ASB spent in the first half of 2011.
Third was Westpac at NZ$5.8 million, down NZ$1.3 million. Fourth was Kiwibank, celebrating its 10th anniversary, at NZ$4.2 million, which was up NZ$600,000. Last among the big banks, behind even the NZ$3.5 million spent on the National Bank, was BNZ's NZ$2.7 million, which was less than half the NZ$6.6 million BNZ spent in the first half of 2011.
The combined total spent on advertising in the first half of the year by the big banks was NZ$38.7 million, down NZ$7.7 million, or 17%, from NZ$46.4 million in the same period of 2011.
In the first half of 2011, ANZ also led the way spending NZ$15.4 million on the ANZ brand but just NZ$1.4 million on the National Bank.
And Nielsen AIS figures also showed the biggest slice of bank advertising spend for the full 2011 went on the ANZ brand. Money spent promoting the ANZ brand surged 108% year-on-year to NZ$30.342 million in 2011 and money spent advertising the National Bank plummeted 74% year-on-year to just NZ$4.292 million. Much ANZ advertising over the last year has been connected to its sponsorship of the Rugby World Cup. ANZ is also the "official partner" of the New Zealand Olympic and Commonwealth games teams, although ASB is the official bank of the New Zealand Olympic team.
Both ANZ Banking Group CEO Mike Smith and ANZ NZ CEO David Hisco have been open about reviewing the ongoing use of the National Bank brand over the last year or two. Currently ANZ and National Bank staff are being moved onto one IT platform, nine years after the ANZ group bought the National Bank from Britain's Lloyds TSB. Running behind schedule, the project effectively involves shutting down the ANZ IT platform and adopting the National Bank’s Systematics core banking system. It was originally due for completion by late 2011. ANZ's now targeting completion by the end of 2012 at a cost of at least NZ$221 million.
In 2010 ANZ renewed its rights to use the Lloyds black horse on a green and white background as the National Bank logo until the end of 2014. Any further renewal on use of the logo would be subject to negotiation with Lloyds.
Hisco told interest.co.nz in March the ANZ group was focused on completing its IT project and yet to decide whether to ditch the National Bank brand. However, he said 99% of customers don't really care about brands so long as they get good service. The National Bank consistently places ahead of ANZ in retail customer satisfaction surveys.
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