NAB Launch Climb Every Mountain

National Australian Bank (NAB) has released a TV ad in time for the Australian football grand finals weekend. The star of the ad, played by Auckland actor Ian Hughes, begins in his bedroom, looking for his second red sock. On the radio we hear that it’s just gone 7.26 am. A singer launches into “Climb Every Mountain”. As he rushes after his bus the neighbours join in the song. On the bus our star finds himself urged on by the passengers to reach his goals – so much so that he takes the wheel when the drivers passes out. At work he discovers a photograph of a New Zealand mountain. Out he goes and climbs that mountain to take on the singing yeti (big foot) on the peak. The tag lines: “A little confidence goes a long way” and “NAB – a little word goes a long way”. Only now do we discover that this is not an ad for beer. It’s an ad for NAB.

Mountain climbed in NAB TV ad

Click on the image below to play the video in YouTube

The second, 30 seconds, provides more details on how the National Australia Bank helps its customers realise their dreams.

Click on the image below to play the video in YouTube


The NAB Climb Every Mountain ad was developed at Clemenger BBDO, Melbourne, by creative director James McGrath, copywriters Rohan Lancaster & Seymour Pope, art directors Darren Pitt and Cameron Harris, strategy planner Nicole Marquardt, agency producer Julie Rutherford. The account management team were Daniela Santilli, Marnie McKenzie, Melissa Scott, Jessica Park. Media was handled by Susie Wall at Optimedia.

Filming was shot in Adelaide and Queenstown (and edited) by Justin Reardon via Anonymous Films, with Curious Film producer Peter Grasse and director of photography Danny Ruhlmann.

Visual effects were produced at Postmodern by production designer Rob Robinson. Editor was Jodie Gallacher.

Created by Image Creative Workshop, (the same company that designs characters for the Star Wars films, and director Peter Jackson), the Yeti costume was worn by a 6 foot 7 inch tall actor (based in the UK), who specializes in wearing ridiculously oversized character outfits, and the body language acting it takes to bring one of these characters to life. It took three hours to put on the Yeti mask and the same to take it off (without removing too much of the actor’s skin!). When the actor’s facial muscles moved, the Yeti’s moved too: as a result, minimal digital effects were required to bring the Yeti to life.

Sound and music were developed at Nylon Studios.

Red sock found in NAB TV ad

This ad has the feel of bigness evoked by the Carlton Draught Big Ad. Part of it is the scenery. But it’s also due to the influence of creative director James McGrath, part of the team behind the award-winning Carlton Draught series developed by George Patterson Y&R.

I wonder about the significance of the red socks and the New Zealand mountain. Red socks have been associated with the New Zealand America’s Cup campaign, back in the days when Peter Blake challenged New Zealanders to buy red socks to support the yachting team’s luck. In this context the red socks are close to the only bright objects in the whole ad, signifying the capacity for creative dreaming perhaps. The use of the radio announcement at the beginning makes it clear that it is set in Australia and not New Zealand (twenty six rather than twenty sux).

via Pass the Remote

  • Chris

    The boys who wrote it, Cam & Sey, are Kiwis so maybe thats something to do with the red socks. But anyway, it’s pretty amazing. Can’t believe they sold it to a bank! Well done lads – I guess moving to Oz to work wasn’t all that bad after all.


  • Megan over at Imaginif

    I saw the ad for the first time last night. The red socks, the mountain and the YETI are what stayed in my mind. I get the significance of mountain and Yeti and love the Sound of Music in the back ground – but the red socks – I pondered all night on the significance. Surely it’s more than the red sock campaign? I’ll be disappointed to know I spent so much thought time on the red socks if it is just the campaign.

    Here via the Carnival of Australia. GREAT entry Duncan, thanks.

  • John

    I don’t belive the socks have anything to do with the other campaign. There are subtle flashes of red throughout the ad – obviously because NAB’s logo is red.

    Love the ad too by the way. It really brings a smile to my face.