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Commonwealth Bank: Investorville - The world's first investment property simulator
Rob Chandler and Kelly Vise The Communications Council Gold, Australian Effie Awards, 2012

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Commonwealth Bank: Investorville - The world's first investment property simulator Rob Chandler and Kelly Vise The Communications Council Gold, Australian Effie Awards, 2012

Commonwealth Bank: Investorville – The world's first investment property simulator
Entry Number: 164 Agency: BMF Advertiser: Commonwealth Bank Author: Rob Chandler and Kelly Vise Total Campaign Expenditure: $500 – $1 million Strategic communications challenge In the first half of 2011 the value of the Investment Home Loans (IHL) market in Australia was around $5.5 billion per month, but it had been stagnant for some time, with housing prices on the rise this meant only one thing; less people were taking up investment home loans. In fact the number of investment properties funded had dropped by a third, from a high of 30,000 properties per month in June '07 to just 19,000 in June '11.

There were many economic factors influencing the decline; the funding crisis and the resulting global recession had taken their toll on consumer confidence. 2010 had seen limited recovery driven by business investors, but many "would be" private
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investors were continuing to hold their investment capital in cash for the short term. During this time Commonwealth Bank's market value share had remained stable at approximately 21% based on a 12 month moving average. But, with significantly fewer loans being funded the future of the market was looking bleak. If you are not moving forward, you're going backward.

With interest rates declining, cash investments were showing significantly lower returns and although confidence remained low, impatient investors were starting to think about kick starting their investments. Commonwealth Bank, a leader in the Investment Home Loans market needed to attract new "would be" investors to the lucrative property market. Objectives Commonwealth Bank had never specifically targeted first time investors before. This was to be a test campaign to explore the feasibility of developing a new market; Our objectives were set to deliver a breakeven return: Over a 6 month period our objectives were: 1. Drive 1,000 home loan applications 2. Sell 140 incremental home loans 3. Deliver an RoI of 1:1 – Break even within 6 months Strategy and Implementation Bricks and mortar remain one of the most secure investments over the long term, so for anyone investing for their future investment in property should be one of the first considerations. In the 12 months to June 2011 this was still far from the case; of the one million home owning Australians who could potentially afford an investment property only 35% considered it and of those just 14% actually went on to buy one (source Roy Morgan). It's a big leap. For 75% of the target audience Investing in property for most doesn't even enter the consideration set (Roy Morgan June 2011); this meant they did not even notice advertising for investment home loans in branch or national press. For those who considered it all felt too daunting, too hard and too risky. Our research showed there were three major fears to address: 1. Cost Fears – Unlike most consumer investments, for most of us investment property requires additional risk in the form of a home loan. It is usually only sophisticated investors who are prepared to risk additional finance.
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2. Property management fears – What if something goes wrong? What if a tenant doesn't pay? Will I be able to make payments? How much will it cost me to keep the property up to rental standard? 3. Risk and Value fears – For any level of investment, having the ability to calculate potential risk and return is essential. While it is easy to…