BCU Bank's 'A Better Back-Up' via The Hallway

10 April 2024

Creative Agency: The Hallway
Media Agency: The Hallway

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Shining a provocative spotlight on people’s ‘Plan Bs’, the alternative ways some Australians save or grow their money.

Selling feet pics, asking Dad or… ‘Daddy’, waiting for an inheritance from gran or moving home (again).

These are some of the unconventional financial back-up plans highlighted in BCU Bank’s 'A Better Back-Up', a quick-witted and comical new brand campaign underpinned by consumer truths and insights, via The Hallway.

The contextual and disruptive OOH and digital campaign shines a provocative spotlight on people’s ‘Plan Bs’, the alternative ways some Australians save or grow their money, and the fact that 80% of Australians bank with a Big Four bank.

The customer-owned bank partnered with global public opinion and data company YouGov to commission research revealing the unconventional methods Australians use to tackle the cost-of-living crisis.

BCU Bank head of marketing Michelle Hemingway said the study showed many young Australians were struggling with their finances.

“Our research uncovered how increasing cost-of-living pressures, as well as low financial literacy and confidence, were impacting consumers,” said Hemingway.

“We learned some Gen Zs and Millennials are joking about – or dabbling in – unconventional tactics or ‘Plan Bs’ to make money and boost their savings.

“Our goal is to support our existing customers, while also connecting with younger Australians who need a leg up to reach their financial goals.”

Hemingway said the brand campaign was a bold approach for BCU Bank.

“When it comes to competing in a very cluttered market space, we knew our brand campaign needed to leverage these insights, be edgy and bold and resonate with today’s consumer,” she said.

A Better Back-Up features creative assets across digital and traditional channels with a suite of messaging variations tailored to key customer needs or financial milestones.

From saving for a holiday, getting a home loan, or financing a car, BCU Bank tells customers while their primary bank may be ‘Plan A’, BCU Bank is the better back-up plan when they need to turn to a ‘Plan B’.

Hemingway said while most Australians bank with a Big Four, about one in three also had a second back-up bank.

“People are increasingly looking for new ways to save for a house, start a business or get set for retirement and a big-player bank isn’t always the fastest or most feasible way,” she said.

Leveraging this consumer insight, BCU deployed a strategic media buy combining contextual OOH and digital marketing to position high-visibility adverts within metres of the named Big Four bank.

“This clever campaign cements BCU as the very best second bank – and certainly the best financial back-up plan – an Aussie banking customer could choose," said Hemingway.

BCU's complementary PR strategy played up one of the messaging variations to drive greater awareness and engagement of the campaign.

PR activity included a travelling ‘Footography Studio’ with express pedicures and professional feet pics in key, high-traffic Brisbane locations, capturing the attention of both the public and media.

The Hallway creative director Jessica Thompson said 'A Better Back-Up' was testament to what can be achieved with a bold vision and in a trusting agency/client relationship.

“More reluctant brands would have shied away from a creative construct like this, especially given A Better Back-Up is our first dance with BCU Bank, but Michelle and her team were driven by a clear objective and a strong intention of helping Australians of all ages to feel confident when it comes to managing their money,” said Thompson.

“For all the brands in the world calling themselves either leaders or challengers, there aren’t many who proudly stake their claim as your best second choice.

“Working with BCU Bank on becoming the most memorable back-up has been a riot and it's to their credit that they leaned right into their brand personality traits of being human, quick-witted and tenacious and didn’t shy away from poking fun at themselves.”



Client: BCU Bank

BCU Bank General Manager: Mark Smyth

Head of Marketing: Michelle Hemingway

Brand & Marketing Manager: Claudia Dalton

Creative Design Lead: Britney Nash

BCU Bank’s Brand & Marketing Team


Creative & Media Agency: The Hallway


PR: Aruga

Co-Founder and Partner Lead: Adam Brunes

Account Lead: Kimberley Roberts

Director of Content: Belinda Seeney

Account Director (PR): Jai Johnstone


Brand Activation: BonBon

Events & Activations Director: Kirsty Adams

Partnerships & Engagement Director: Dana Brown

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