Since relaunching in 2011, Bank of Melbourne has carved a niche ahead of the curve – in addition to offering grandparental leave to staff and becoming the first bank to integrate with the Apple Watch, it has racked up creative collaborations with brands like Broadsheet and launched the annual Melbourne Music Bank competition (where the winner bags coveted EP recording time). It has also made its mark via attention to detail, with a custom-designed fragrance developed specifically to be used in their branches, and creative advertising campaigns that are more often described as “art”. We chat with Jac Phillips, Bank of Melbourne’s head of brand and marketing, to see how they do things differently.
What sort of creative partnerships has Bank of Melbourne developed?
Since Bank of Melbourne re-launched five years ago, we’ve supported the events and institutions that matter to Victorians: our renowned culture of food and wine, our sporting heritage and the arts. Rather than choosing a sporting code or field of art, we’ve instead partnered with organisations like the Melbourne Cricket Ground [MCG], the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne Food and Wine Festival and Arts Centre Melbourne. These partnerships have [delivered] unique events like the World’s Longest Lunch; Cinema at the ‘G, an open air cinema on the MCG’s hallowed turf; and [an exhibition celebrating] fashion icon Jean Paul Gaultier.
You partnered with Hey You to create the world’s fastest coffee machine. Tell us more!
Hey You is an order-ahead app that we knew Victorians would love as soon as we heard about it – after all, we’re the nation’s coffee capital. We wanted to help the Hey You team introduce the app to Melbourne in a unique way that reflected how innovative both of our brands are. The result was the Long Mach – a modified racing motorbike that pours and froths perfect espresso at 220 km/h (talk about speeding up your morning coffee!). Our team knew the best way to pitch its convenience was by DM and eDM to customers, with a $10 credit when the app was linked to their Bank of Melbourne card. The campaign has been a great success, and the icing on the cake was the auction of the Long Mach bike to raise money for our charitable foundation, the Bank of Melbourne Neighbourhood Fund [which supports charities who receive little or no government funding].
What’s your favourite example of Bank of Melbourne’s below-the-line marketing?
It’s tough to name a favourite when there’s so much to be proud of! When we launched our ‘Makers’ brand campaign a year ago, we used Victorian makers as our talent in each of the ads – from the 50 customers who featured in the TV ads to the typographer who created our font.
How would you say Bank of Melbourne supports start-ups? Bank of Melbourne is all about helping Victorians, their businesses and local communities – we know that small business is the heart of the Victorian economy. Our business grants program supports businesses in start-up or growth phase, as well as regional businesses. We’ve also created a network of business owners, providing valuable insights through our ‘Access to Experts’ events, where start-ups and established small businesses hear from global business experts.