ASB Bank in New Zealand used a portrait of Edmund Hillary, the man who with Sherpa Tenzing Norgay climbed Mt Everest in 1953, and who died today, to promote Pago, a technology that allows friends to text cash between mobile phones.
ASB indicated to advertising agency TBWA\Whybin that the promotion of the new service was aimed at consumers, early adopters, opinion formers and ‘Mavens’, and therefore needed to be unconventional in its nature. Edmund Hillary and the New Zealand Reserve Bank gave permission for the five dollar note to be used in an advertising medium. Stickers of Hillary’s pixelated image were placed directly over the top of his his portrait on NZ five dollar notes as they were introduced into circulation. When peeled off, the reverse side of the sticker directed people to the Pago website to activate their own digital wallet.
The campaign team commissioned NZ artist Maurice Bennett to create a mural at Britomart, the Auckland Central train station, using 30,000 Post-It notes to represent a pixilated five dollar banknote. Commuters were able to help themselves to the post-it notes. Bennett is known as the ‘Toastman’ for his ambient art using pieces of toast.
The ASB Pago campaign was developed at TBWA\Whybin, Auckland, by executive creative director Andy Blood, creatives Karen Maurice O’Leary and Verity Butt, group account director Sarah Goldring and account manager Tracey Hazelwood.
The pago campaign received five honours at the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival in 2007, including Media Grand Prix in the ‘Financial Products & Services’ category; a Bronze Media Lion in the ‘Best Use of Ambient Media: Small Scale’ category; another Bronze Media Lion in the ‘Use of Mixed Media’ category; a Bronze Direct Lion in the ‘Alternative Media’ category for the pago Money Sticker; and a Promo Lion in the ‘Best Integrated Promotional Campaign’ category. The campaign was also shortlisted in the Titanium and Integrated Lions awards. See my story at Postkiwi Aotearoa Blog on the Cannes win.