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Bye-bye Goldstein

Ira Goldstein
After 11 years, ASB Bank has said goodbye to their advertising character Ira Goldstein and his boss RJ Lincoln. Ira started out as the bumbling fool, being sent to New Zealand by Lincoln to check out why ASB was such a great bank.

The story started in 2000, with Ira (a researcher for an American bank) telling Lincoln all banks in the world are the same, except for one in New Zealand — ASB. Strangely enough, while he was a researcher, Ira didn't know why this was and was sent to New Zealand to check it out.

"Goldstein," Lincoln says, "Go to New Zealand and find out what makes customers actually stick with one bank."

The advertising campaign won the People's Choice AXIS Advertising Award in 2004 for the third year running, and was named the most-recognised on TV in 2007 by the Nielsen Consumer Finance Monitor.

ASB concluded the Goldstein affair recently when it ended its relationship with the advertising company that created him, TBWA. Over the years, the series of ads has become as familiar as that Anchor family — the separated husband and wife and their daughter. And Ira Goldstein was just as simple a concept, depicting him setting up a bank account, buying a house and starting a business. It doesn't take much to pull the crowds round these parts.

As part of saying goodbye to Ira, ASB auctioned off some of his props to raise money for the Starship Foundation. Ira's briefcase, glasses, golf outfit, farmer hat, bowling shirt and ball, fishing outfit, motorbike goggles and boss Lincoln's cowboy outfit all went.

The profits are going towards Starship's Spring Clean fundraiser, which will help rebuild wards that treat critical and long-term patients, such as kids with brain tumours, head trauma, suspected child abuse injuries and infectious diseases.

It's good to know, as a loyal customer of almost 20 years, that my bank is supporting something as worthwhile as Starship's Spring Clean. After spending all that money on the advertising side, it would be good to also hear about some customer loyalty schemes. After all, isn't it the customers who provide the means for them to be so philanthropic?

ASB's new ad campaign will launch later this year, but can they ever top Ira?
User comments
removing Goldstein from the ASB adverts would be like stopping men and women everywhere from talking. Not many people would like it. .....well thats my opinion anyways.
When i first moved to NZ in 2002, he was one of the first people i saw on NZ tv. I love him! hes funny, silly and comforting. None of my family want Golstein to go. Nothing can top him and he will go down in kiwi tv history! WE LOVE YOU GOLDSTEIN!

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