The CBA has revealed what we all know.

The Commonwealth Bank has finally admitted, unlike it’s three banking brethren, what we all already know: going to a bank branch is a pain in the ass, it’s an inefficient use of your time and there is a better way to do things.

The CBA didn’t choose to tell people subtly either. They chose to do it surprisingly loudly > at tram stops in Melbourne on large, back lit posters, as pictured below. One might even say they were determined.

The question asked is cute, it’s the sort of no-brainer you’d expect to see on Are you smarter than a fifth grader?: ‘Is NetBanking easier than walking?’

Most of the ad is fine for what it is: simple, clean, driving to a clear point – even if it does treat me like a child by reminding me that I require two legs to walk to a branch. (Except of course if I’m in a wheelchair… um, CBA did you think of this?) But the thing I particularly don’t like about the ad is that despite the all the virtues of it trying to convert foot-traffic to web-traffic for some completely unknown reason they try and push a loan product.

It doesn’t fit the message, it doesn’t fit the ad, it just complicates things and raises questions on something that was quite simple until the third line of text.

Is the CBA trying to convince people to check their balance on-line or apply for this mysterious non-specified loan of which no details, terms and conditions or benefits are displayed?

I think they missed the boat on this one. And the over-complication probably came from some higher-up who said ‘how will we know if it’s working? I know, lets push a loan so that if we see a spike in loans we’ll know’.

Call me a little cynical but wouldn’t you know people were using on-line banking more by seeing increasing spike in numbers applying for on-line banking access?

Here’s the ad:



  1. The article started good, Until you got to the part where you referred to the Netbank campaign as a drive for a mysterious non-specified loan.

    I actually think the campaign is quite effective. The campaign is simply saying at the top line “using online banking is easy” a bit deeper and the campaign says “online banking is easier than having to go to the bank and wait in line and talk to someone”.

    I do agree that there are no value propositions, competitive differentiators or anything that makes he idea of CBA Netbank great! Except those 5 little golden stars… (is that actually an award)?

  2. hehe, why yes OPM that is an award. I don’t know how I missed it… *grin*

    The issue isn’t whether or not NetBank is good (personally I think it’s great) but the campaign – of which this is one example, (there are multiple posters) – is clearly a campaign targeting those that aren’t currently using it.

    I’m asking whether getting a loan online is the primary concern/reason for new people to start using online banking. Wouldn’t people who haven’t yet started using online banking have some fairly entrenched reasons/concerns for not picking it up earlier – such as, lets pick a random concern um… security?

    Now, if concern about security is the primary reason for not using it yet, I don’t know if hading over a large amount of personal details on a website to apply for a large sum of cash is what I’d want to be doing.

    All I’m saying is the CBA should keep the message simple, get people over the line first and then push the loan once they’ve got em’.

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