Monday, May 25, 2009

Ouch - that could hurt - BNZ, what were you thinking?

So a keen co-worker today said "man, that's brave of BNZ" to which I looked over her shoulder to see what she was talking about. It was this:
This is what you're looking at a little closer. 

Now, this seems as though it is a slightly dangerous move on BNZ's behalf. It is certainly NOT something I would have recommended. Let's look at what's wrong with this:
  1. Underlining writing generally encourages people to click - this is an action that we have been trained up with using the internet - why would you underline your competitors?
  2. Eyeline typically goes top to bottom - why would you place your competitors at the top?
  3. WHY DO THE LINKS GO TO YOUR COMPETITORS SITES?? What? No. If you're going to do something like this, don't link to their sites! That would be 'driving potential customers away from your website'. If you're going to put your competition on your banner, for the love of all things good on online, create a temporary page which says "don't be silly - BNZ will look after you better" otherwise, you're using your advertising budget to help the competition
  4. I didn't even see the BNZ logo. Took me ages - might just be me... The bold blue colour is the only thing that draws my attention, I didn't think the bottom, what, 50 pixels (?) even belonged to that ad. It was completely lost into the background of the NBR website. Is this a case of creative vs. brand guidelines?
  5. This is not the medium to be clever with wording. Online is an instant medium, people look at a page online much quicker than they would if it were a physical newspaper. They are not going to spend the time actually taking in the fact that the point of the advertising is 'banking' vs. 'business'. People will see 'banking' then a list of 'banks' and then choose at will, not keep reading.
If there is anyone out there who happens to find out what kind of results this banner receives, I would be SO interested. I hope BNZ are at least tracking each possible click, see how much business they are driving to each of the other banks, perhaps they could invoice them? Advertising services rendered?


Simon said...

Good comment. I think it's a seriously gutsy move, but you make a good point that an attention-challenged web surfer (like we all are) could easily miss the point of the whole ad and end up banking with a competitor.

Perhaps if instead of that aqua colour they used BNZ navy blue?

I love the concept because they are seriously backing themselves, not trying to coerce or trap customers. Especially good for business-to-business customers, who are perhaps more savvy than "consumer" consumers.

iChild said...

Thanks for the comment Simon. I completely agree on the BNZ navy rather than the ANZ blue. Very interesting call.

Perhaps they have made a couple of assumptions however about their potential customers, the online space and how people read online. Perhaps they should have a chat with Optimal Usability??

Lance said...

Clearly tt worked - after all you've blogged it, twittered it and we are commenting on it.

The message gets through to people that would not otherwise see the ad and BNZ earns respect for being obvious.

It's like the NZHerald or Stuff, or NBR for that matter not linking through to articles on competitor sites. It's time they realised that a click is trivial to do, and that choice is not related to links, but to preferences.

Switching banks is tough to encourage - and very few would do so from an advertisement. But at some stage people get annoyed with their bank and will look around. BNZ's positioning as being unafraid of competition would pay dividends.

It's just a shame that their positioning doesn't match up with the reality I've been dealt for my personal bank account.

Trent Mankelow said...

I'd love to see the results too. Generally what we see when user testing is that people scan a page looking for the next place to click. Underlining is such a strong clickability cue, that I would be very surprised if this ad works for BNZ.

And to think... they're a client of ours!

Piggles said...

Testing, clickability... man, I'd hate to be next to you guys on a long flight! I'm with the gutsy, different and brave comments and since they ran it, I guess the BNZ are too.