UBank CMO on stepping outside creative agencies for new ads

Lindsay Bennett
By Lindsay Bennett | 9 October 2017

UBank has tapped video production company Genero for its first animated campaign in a bid to challenge Australia’s perceptions of the home loan process.

The launch is a big step away from UBank's last campaign, a TV ad by The Monkeys, which came under fire for featuring terminally ill patients reflecting on what's important life.

Genero is a cloud-based online platform which acts as Airtasker for creative work, connecting brands to a community of more than 350,000 filmmakers, animators and editors in more than 180 countries around the world to open source ideas.

UBank received more than 50 responses to the brief from creative minds locally and globally before making a decision on who to partner with. 

The new approach enabled UBank to fast track delivery of the campaign into market in less than four weeks.

UBank CMO Jo Kelly tells AdNews the brand saw an opportunity to shake things up and explore a new production method.

"We have a reasonably disruptive approach to our marketing so we are always keen to try something new. A lot of companies and brands wouldn't go there because they would think it would damage their relationship with their agency," Kelly says, adding UBank will continue to work with The Monkeys and was open with them during the process with Genero.

"This campaign isn't about walking away from our agency or our mission of being disruptive, but for quick turnover retail work it was a good thing for us to trial."

Kelly says working with Genero was an overall positive experience with UBank, but says it requires a more hands on approach in comparison to working with The Monkeys. While it cost "significantly" less to work with Genero, she says cost wasn't a major driving factor.

"You are essentially acting as the creative director so you have to commit extra time to executing it properly. If you are working with an existing partner, you can take a few shortcuts in providing them a brief because they know your brand. But working with Genero, we took extra time to provide a very detailed brief and provide comprehensive feedback."

Moving forward, Kelly says she would use Genero again for retail content and would recommend the platform to other marketers. However, she says the brand has no intention of using Genero for big brand work at this stage.

"Marketers are facing all types of challenges, financial constraints being one of them; short term deadlines and getting more for less are also issues. I'd encourage other marketers to think about alternatives and test them out. If it doesn't work, you don't use it again, but for us it was a pain free experience that didn't have any pitfalls," she says.

The series of 15-second online animations spotlight UBank’s low rate home loans and no ongoing fees to home buyers across Australia in a playful and memorable way.

UBank often uses animation for its social content, so it wasn't a huge departure from its previous approach.

UBank has booked over 600 spots via its media agency Bohemia across TV networks. The campaign will also run across domain.com.au, news.com.au, realestate.com.au and other digital channels till the end of November.

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