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Nedbank's Striking Anti-Advertising Campaign Urges South Africans to Take their Money Seriously


#TakeMoneySeriously was created by Joe Public Johannesburg and directed by Greg Gray through Romance Films

Nedbank's Striking Anti-Advertising Campaign Urges South Africans to Take their Money Seriously

When it comes to money, South Africans are notoriously overextended, with one of the lowest savings and highest debt-to-income ratios in the world. Nedbank, a bank that has always championed taking money seriously, wanted to take a stand and create social consciousness around excessive consumerism and irresponsible money behaviour. 

To achieve this, integrated brand and communications group Joe Public United in arms with Romance Films brought to life a campaign that subtly subverts the signals of advertising to get people to think more critically about the thousands of messages exhorting them to want more and spend more. 

As a result, an anti-advertising campaign was created through a series of fictitious product commercials. However, instead of selling products, the campaign strikes the conscience of South Africans around the critical need to #TakeMoneySeriously by joining the bank that already does.

“As a bank that wants to use its expertise to do good, we, together with Nedbank, found that this is a golden opportunity for us to draw attention to the reality of overspending and irresponsible borrowing, as well as the urgent need to save and invest for the long term. Therefore, we had to ask ourselves how we awaken a social conscience of ‘investorism’ rather than consumerism? The result is a thought-provoking campaign that takes the very same advertising messages that usually encourage spending and, instead, use them to stimulate critical thinking and challenge underlying presuppositions around banking and money,” says Xolisa Dyeshana, chief creative officer, Joe Public United. 

Directed by Greg Gray of Romance Films, each of the five films in the campaign appears, at first glance, to be a commercial we are all familiar with: the luxury car on the wide-open road, the edgy basketball player with the cool new kicks, the shiny features of the latest smartphone, the sophistication of the cocktail lounge, the ethereal sensuality of perfume – all recognisable tropes that we, as consumers, understand, respond and give meaning and our money to. However, as each film progresses, the allusions to unchecked spending gradually become more pronounced to reveal that all that glitters is not necessarily gold. Explicit references to banking clichés are intentionally held back to build interest, intrigue and impact before revealing that this is, in fact, a commercial for a bank.  

Romance Films was challenged to create a sense of the unexpected within each trope to break through viewer complacency with conventional executions. Working in collaboration with Joe Public United, the thinking and filmic treatment was pushed to arrive at something distinctive and evocative. This campaign features products in their most desirable and aspirational but, ultimately, financially perilous way possible. 

The fully integrated 360-degree, through-the-line campaign will continue to roll out across all mass media platforms, digital media, outdoor advertising and PR, in an effort to help people understand the impact of their money choices, good and bad, to offer alternatives to old spending patterns, and ultimately, #TakeMoneySeriously. 


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Genres: Action, Storytelling

Categories: Finance, Banking

Joe Public, Thu, 13 May 2021 14:17:00 GMT