ASB’s Auckland Marathon ‘Run Down Your Rate’ Links Finish Times/Loan Rates

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ASB is leveraging its rights as the title sponsor of the 2015 Auckland Marathon with a competition offering 10 lucky runners the chance to win their marathon finishing time as a two-year fixed home loan interest rate.


The initiative, called ‘Run Your Rate Down’, has been developed with agency Saatchi & Saatchi NZ, aims to inspire runners to better performances through a low home loan interest rate tied to the time they cross the finishing line.


The campaign began with a PR push and an initial ‘Call For Entries’ promotional activation phase for the competition that outlined the competition.


Promotional material from the event’s naming rights partner encouraged entries to beat the pack: outlining that anyone finishing with last year’s average time would scoop a 4.27% interest rate (not much lower than the current cheapest special two year rate on the market of 4.49%), but that anyone matching last year’s 2 hours 27 minutes winning time by Stephen Lett would be eligible for a fantastically cheap 2.27% interest rate.


Runners simply needed to register their interest with ASB on one of the bank’s digital platforms to take part and those participating were asked to race in bank-branded apparel and to be available for media appearances.


(Contestants who are already locked into a home loan or do not need a mortgage will be allowed to gift it to a friend.)


The subsequent campaign creative content was spearheaded by a set of three online videos.


The first film, ‘Meet The Runners’, debuted on 22 October and introduced the competition winners and explained their challenge.



The follow-up spot, ‘Training’, followed each winners’ race preparation and training regime and was posted on ASB’s YouTube channel the following week.



While the last video, ‘Race Day’, was posted on 5 November and explored the actual marathon itself and explores how the winners of the Run Down Your Rate competition won their full marathon times as a two year fixed ASB home loan interest rate.



Post-event on 19 November ASB ran a TV commercial based on the activation.



ASB’s marketing GM Shane Evans said that this campaign is one example of how ASB’s recent sponsorship activity shows how the bank is approaching branding through sponsorship initiatives by bringing it to life through consumers, as opposed to traditional advertising campaigns.


‘Sponsorships are a key part of the way ASB demonstrates community commitment, rather than simply paying lip service to it,’ explains Evans.


‘Our innovative activations also create a tangible experience for the public and our customers to be a part of.’
‘Getting people to run for a lower rate is fun, relevant, entertaining and with the amount of money to be saved with each improved step, genuinely motivating,’ explains of Saatchi & Saatchi ECD Corey Chalmers.


‘Run Down Your Rate is just one more way that we’ve worked hard to make sure ASB has enduring, meaningful relevance in the real world for the past 18 months. It could just be logos and ticker tape, but we’ve really focused on driving genuine relevance into every sponsorship ASB does.’
‘We’ve happily moved on from just doing the big brand TV pieces – it’s now about many and often, building a brand not with words in one moment but in actions over time, all with a consistent spirit, tone and manner,’ continues Chalmers.


‘These days, you’re a glance on a newsfeed, a passing view on a motorway, a share here and a post there. ASB understands that better than most brands.’


ASB general manager marketing Shane Evans and head of community & sponsorship Mark Graham, along with sponsorship manager Mike Wooten, assistant marketing manager Emily Harder and brand manager Emma Lynch worked with Saatchi & Saatchi NZ on this bold leverage initiative.


The Saatchi team included ECD’s Chalmers and Roberts, creatives Charlie Godinet and Antony Wilson, designer Rob Flynn, strategy director Murray Streets, senior digital strategist Ian Hulme, producer Joshua Forsman, animator Tomas Cottle, business director: Teresa Davis, senior account director Michael Wood, account director Campbell McLean and account manager Vinay Naran


Nick Burridge directed the spots, which were produced by Sam McCauley for production company Toybox, while the PR was run by PR Shop’s Lindsay Stanley and Tom Frankish




We like the clever way this campaign cleverly connects the brand and its products with the on-course customer performance.


It offers a powerful, motivational incentive that is of genuine value to the competition winners.


The results for this campaign can be measured according to several different metric perspectives.


For example, the 10 competition winners with the extra financial incentive all ran times faster than the average ASB Auckland Marathon time and six out of the 10 runners smashed their target times.


Indeed, the three best runners won rates of less than 3% – with the lowest (2.42%) won by Katie Kemp who won the women’s marathon.


Or one could measure by the 75,000 YouTube views the film series racked up.


The 2016 campaign follows the previous year’s ‘This Is The Place’ campaign run with the property owner.



The old world of sponsorship marketing was under-activated and too easily dismissed: too many brands similar paid their rights fees, put a logo on everything the property owner offered and then sat back and watched.


But this campaign shows that ASB and its team is committed to finding potent ways to use partnerships to authentically grow its brand and to give existing and potential customers a reason to think ‘this is a company that really gets it and gets me’.


Other similar sponsorship campaigns that demonstrate ASB’s innovative activation approach and commitment to partner and customers include its recent All Blacks sponsorship work (such as its ‘Up for the Game – special ABS coffee blend’,



and its ‘All Blacks Perspective – business insights from the team behind the team’ and ‘ABS announcement – the bank that backs the All Blacks’),



as well as its ‘Best Ball Boys & Venus Williams’ tennis work with the ‘ASB Classic’.





ASB ‘Run Down Your Rate’ Website:


ASB YouTube:


ASB Website:


ASB Google+:


ASB Twitter:


ASB Facebook:


ASB Insstagram:


ASB LinkedIn:


ASB Auckland Marathon:


All Blacks:


ASB Classic:




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