Ad of the Week: Nedbank CIB’s new angle on money
by Oresti Patricios (@orestaki) My favourite ad this week is a beautifully filmed piece of visual poetry that showcases Nedbank Corporate Investment Bank (CIB)’s role not just as a bank but also as a developer and investor in forward-looking projects. The ad, conceptualised by Joe Public, takes viewers on a journey through a changing landscape of nature, humanity and technology — from a novel angle.
Africa is growing; in many places, it’s booming and, everywhere you go, there’s a need for infrastructure development, especially in the areas of energy and telecommunications. Why is infrastructure so crucial? Metaphorically speaking, roads, rail, fibre cables, mobile networks, airports and ports are the pumping blood and nerve centres of a state. Research repeatedly shows that investments in infrastructure equal economic growth. Not only is this much-needed in Africa, but these developments offer tremendous opportunities for investment. Nedbank’s CIB has made considerable investments in these areas, including 23 deals in South Africa’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Programme (REIPPP) to the tune of some R25bon. The bank has also invested in other projects in Africa, including €623m in the Lake Turkana Wind Power Project in Kenya, which will be the biggest wind farm in sub-Saharan Africa.
In an era when many individuals and companies prefer to make ethically and environmentally oriented investments, the green bank is certainly taking the lead. In the latest TV ad, directed by Kim Geldenhuys of 0307 Films, and conceptualised by the creatives at Joe Public, Nedbank’s CIB asks the viewer to take a unique perspective of the world: from above. Every single shot in the commercial is shown from a ‘bird’s eye view’.
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The ad starts with a scene of a man swimming in a lap-pool in downtown. The voiceover begins: “If you strive to see further than what’s in front of you. If you look past the next deadline, the next dollar, the next deal… well, then, you’ll see the bigger picture.”
The montage cuts from the man in the pool to some people emerging from a building in a financial district, and being stopped by a gaggle of reporters, then on to a busy highway interchange.
The soundtrack throughout has subtle elements threaded through it, such as news reports in Japanese, or a cellphone message saying, “I can’t wait to see you guys” — which coincides with the narration line, “… then you’ll see the bigger picture”. The soundtrack is so carefully crafted that it’s worth listening to without the picture.
But the images themselves are compelling, each one beautifully framed and executed. According to the production company site, no stock footage was used: everything was filmed originally, in five different cities in two countries— Johannesburg, Cape Town, Upington and Durban in South Africa, and Dakar in Senegal — over nine days, using cranes, drones and helicopters to get these evocative images.
Getting back to the ad, the narration continues on the theme. “You’ll see the potential for growth, and the possibility of harnessing energy from the sun.” The imagery here is of everyday commerce — shopping aisles, busy urban streets, warehouses and, finally, a massive solar power array.
Later, a clever transition goes from somebody doing online shopping on a cellphone to an automated warehouse being managed by robots and drones, with the commentary, “You’ll see the power of technology.” The top-down view makes the scenes seem new and fresh.
The end of the sequence goes from an overhead city view, with distant voices on the soundtrack, to a satellite in orbit with the sound of a phone ringing, and a voice saying “Hello”. The narration ends with: “Because, when you look at the world differently, you may just change it for good.” The simple text payoff at the end is “see money differently”, the bank’s new payoff line since earlier this year (replacing “Make things happen”).
This is followed by the Nedbank CIB logo — very plain, clean and simple. Less becomes more in this advert which helps one see the world anew.
The message is powerful and uplifting. It is an encouragement to look at the world differently, to ignore the vagaries of fickle politics, and to think seriously about investing in the meaningful aspects of the future: our country and the world need us to think differently about infrastructure, energy and technology, and how it impacts on human lives.
Well done to Joe Public, Nedbank and 0307 Films for a remarkable commercial — one that sets new standards for creative craft. Folks, you’d better get the carpenters in to lengthen the shelves you place awards on. This is work that will win major awards but, more importantly, it’s work that astutely positions Nedbank CIB as the kind of African bank that big global brands will be proud to partner with.
Agency: Joe Public
Group chief creative officer: Pepe Marais
Executive creative director: Roanna Williams
Art director: Kursten Meyer
Copywriter: Verona Singh
Production company: 0307 Films
Director: Kim Geldenhuys
Producer: Jo Barber
Agency producer: Di Cole
Assistant directors: Tony Tex (Cape Town) Vinca Cox (Joburg)
Account management: Salma Mkwanazi, Khuthala Gala Holten, Mpumelelo Zondi
DP: Jamie D Ramsay
Focus: Nicolas Turvey
Post production: Black Ginger
Editor: Gordon Midgley
Drone company: Skyhook
Drone pilot: Graham Newton
Drone operator: Andre Roux
Gaffer: Danny Smart
Grip: Alan Gray
Helicopter pilot: Gert Uys
Audio: Stephen Webster, The Workroom
Music company: Pulse
Music producer: Marc Algranti
Composer: Simon Kohler
Credits updated at 11.12am on 6 November 2017.
Ad of the Week, published on MarkLives every Wednesday, is penned by Oresti Patricios (@orestaki), the CEO of Ornico, a Brand Intelligence® firm that focuses on media, reputation and brand research. If you are involved in making advertising that is smart, funny and/or engaging, please let Oresti know about it at firstname.lastname@example.org.