STAND INS

TitleSTAND INS
ClientNATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK
Product / ServiceNATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK
CategoryA02. Best Use of Social Media
EntrantCLEMENGER BBDO MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA
Entrant Company CLEMENGER BBDO MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA
Advertising Agency CLEMENGER BBDO MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA

The Campaign

AFL Grand final day is Australia's biggest sporting event. And with so many sponsors of the event it's very easy to be overlooked. Especially if you're a bank. The National Australia Bank (NAB) is a long time sponsor of the AFL, but the public at large had no real awareness of their connection to the game. Our sponsorship not only needed to stand out from the crowd, but become a PR vehicle to associate the game with NAB's values as a fair bank. So we disrupted traditional sponsorship behavior to draw attention to NAB. We did the one thing no other sponsor would and chose not to attend, using that absence to create PR. To do this we used the two things NAB had plenty of - corporate sponsorship tickets and NAB bankers. We invited all the AFL fans that were going to miss the game due to other commitments they couldn't get out of, to apply for a 'NAB Stand-in'. An official NAB Banker who would literally stand in for them, so they could attend the game. When game day arrived twenty 'NAB Stand-ins' filled in for people around the country so they could attend the game live, sitting in some of the best seats in the stadium. The 'Stand-ins' quickly became the most talked about thing during the AFL Grand Final, gaining 98% more social media attention than all the other sponsors combined. NAB for the first time ever, completely dominated Australia's biggest sporting event.

The Brief

The goal of the campaign was to change NAB's sponsorship of the AFL Grand Final from one of silent partner, to a proud contributor that really added to the experience of the game. Research showed that people saw no immediate, direct connection between NAB and the game itself. However the people themselves, the fans, had a very real connection with the bank – as potential and existing customers. They all had bank accounts and mortgages. So we knew our opportunity lay with forming a strategy around them. Our plan was to also steal media attention in the process from other sponsors

Results

When AFL Grand Final Day finally arrived, the nation witnessed through social media, online and even game day live crosses, the NAB Stand-ins selling cars, grooming dogs, printing newspapers, umpiring netball games, giving 21st speeches and even performing in ukulele concerts. They quickly became the most talked about thing during the AFL Grand Final, gaining 98% more social media attention than all the other sponsors combined. The mentions were not only overwhelmingly positive, but became a shorthand to social media fan game commentary. Fans would tweet that when players screwed up - they 'needed a Stand-In'. The idea was also completely embraced by the media, including the national broadcaster of the game Channel 7 and their commentators. All of which helped NAB for the first time ever, completely dominate Australia's biggest sporting event. By choosing to not be there.

Execution

We invited all the AFL fans that were going to miss the game due to other commitments they couldn't get out of, to apply for a 'NAB Stand-in'. An official NAB Banker who would literally stand in for them wherever they were meant to be, so they could attend the game. As we progressed, we had to be enormously careful that people understood this was a real-world service, not just an advertisement, so we managed our traditional media and social media to ensure this. We promoted the application process; the selection process and then any special training our 'Stand-Ins' had to do to prepare for their duties. When game day arrived twenty NAB Stand-ins filled in for people around the country so they could attend the game live, sitting in some of the best seats in the stadium - NAB's corporate sponsor seats.

The Situation

AFL Grand final day is Australia's biggest sporting event. It's Australia's Super Bowl. And with so many sponsors of the event it's very easy to be overlooked. Especially if you're a bank (with no obvious sport connection, like for example, a shoe brand). National Australia Bank (NAB) is a long time sponsor of the AFL, but the public at large had no real awareness of their connection to the game. At most, they think they have stadium signage. Our sponsorship not only needed to stand out from the crowd, but connect the game to NAB's values as a fair bank.

The Strategy

We had to look at traditional game sponsorship behavior and disrupt it in a way that immediately drew attention to NAB. So we decided to do the one thing no other sponsor would. We chose not to attend, use that absence and promote it. To do this we planned to use the two things NAB had plenty of - corporate sponsorship tickets and NAB bankers in a completely unique way. By treating them as game assets we realised we could champion all those AFL fans that couldn't attend to the big game because they were doing something else they couldn't get out of. These fans with game day work commitments or social plans became the focal point of our strategy.

Credits

Name Company Position
Agency Producer - Tv
Sasha Cunningham Clemenger Bbdo Melbourne Head Of Social Media
Tom Martin/Darren Pitt Clemenger Bbdo Melbourne Creative Directors
Julian Schreiber/Rohan Lancaster Clemenger Bbdo Melbourne Creative Directors
Ant Keogh Clemenger Bbdo Melbourne Executive Creative Director
James Mcgrath Clemenger Bbdo Melbourne Creative Chairman