The campaign comprises three 45 second executions and was shot in 702's studio over a day and a half by Michael Middleton from Peter Gird Productions to create the look-and-feel of a live radio show. Executed in black and white to add drama and grit, the ads are fast-paced and pull no punches - just like Robbie, which gives them a heightened air of credibility. In addition, the copy is exceptionally clever: it stops short of blatantly comparing FNB's products with those from other banks, but forces the viewer to make the comparison by always putting the 'banks' being 'interviewed' by Robbie on the back foot.
The campaign was developed by FCB Johannesburg's team of Ulric Chartris and Jean-Roux Bezuidenhout together with FCB South Africa Group Executive Creative Director, Ashley Bacon, and will flight - initially - for only four weeks. The message and communication style will, however, be carried to radio and through the line to leaflets and other channels and media. Transcript 1: Free from FNB
John Robbie: Here's a topic for you, banks. They always seem to be asking you to give them money. But have you ever asked your bank what they are giving you? Good morning you're on the air, will you give me subscription free internet, telephone and cellphone banking?
Male Voice Over: No, unfortunately we don't offer them for free.
JR: That's a no. What's your version of eBucks? What about a rewards programme?
MVO: We don't have that.
JR: You don't have that either? Do you have a free service such as inContact which gives you instant sms notification of any activity on any of your accounts?
Female Voice Over: um No.
JR: No again, thanks you very much indeed. When they tell you they don't offer this call First National Bank and they'll tell you they do. And if you're interested in moving they'll swop over your debit orders for free. FNB logo fades up.
Transcript 2: Saving
JR: Saving money well that's something we all need to do isn't it? And of course all the banks claim to have a unique way of helping you to do it. But here's the question do they really? Good morning you're on air do you have an account such as a One Account which would let me consolidate all my banking needs into a single facility helping me to save.
MVO: Uh no, not for a while....
JR: Will you let me transfer all my debt into a credit card and pay a lower interest rate for 6 months.
MVO: No sir.
JR: Do you offer unit trusts from as little as R40 a month or have a savings account that gives you the opportunity to win a million Rands a month.
JR: All right you don't.
MVO: No we don't.
JR: Now why doesn't that surprise me. Now listen carefully if your bank doesn't offer this, how are they helping you to save? Think about that.
FNB logo fades up.
Transcript 3: Pricing
JR: Bank charges. We all think that banks are ripping us off and considering how much some people are paying I'm not surprised.
Um good morning, um how much are you paying?
FVO: About R350
JR: R350 you gotta be kidding...
MVO: With all the cheques and card fees...
JR: Yeah but there's your problem, cheques are expensive, use a debit card or cheque card or pay over the internet. How much are you paying?
MVO: I dunno R300
JR: No that's crazy, thats daft (faded away) If you're paying R300 on bank charges you can save R2000 over a year, just like that.
MVO: Yeah but you've got no control over what you're paying.
JR: What you mean no control? Of course you have. If you bank over the phone, internet or ATM there's no reason you should pay more than R85 a month...
FVO: A month?
JR: Or even less. Did you know that if you keep R8000 in your account you pay absolutely nothing? So if you're paying too much for your bank charges, either you're not banking smartly or you're banking with the wrong bank
FNB logo fades up.