Athena: We're not into mortgage bondage

Brand campaign has been in market for one week and has already generated $345 million in application pipeline

In the wake of the Banking Royal Commission, home loan disruptor Athena has launched with a brand campaign centred around a reminder that a mortgage shouldn’t be a life sentence.

The campaign has been in market for one week and has already generated $345 million in application pipeline.  

In an interview with CMO in January, Athena’s inaugural CMO, Natalie Dinsdale, said the company is planning to disrupt Australia’s $1.7 trillion mortgage market by being a different kind of home lender and a genuine alternative to the big banks. 

To help, Dinsdale said Athena did a lot of customer research and went through a thorough process to ensure its brand platform is unique, different, has customer truth, and a strong point of view, prior to launch.

“A lot of brands go straight to sale and execution without having that brand platform that should govern every customer touchpoint first,” she told CMO.

"In light of the Royal Commission, and how misleading banks have been, we want to make sure transparency is one of our core values, be completely upfront with customers, ensuring they are not overstretching, and focusing on building buffers into their home loans. We see different ways to go about communicating from marketing and brand sense, but of course we will always be compliant.” 

‘Life’s too short for a long home loan’ is the message offered by the new brand campaign, which also challenges people to ‘Love us and leave us’. 

“Our proposition is that we will give you a great home loan, then we will help you get rid of it. That’s why we want you to love us and leave us,” Dinsdale said. “Research has told us that nearly all borrowers [93 per cent] want to pay off their home loans faster. But fewer than one in five think their lender wants them to succeed.

“Australians are taking 10 years longer to pay off their home loans than a generation ago and collectively, they’re paying an estimated $10 billion more than they need to each year. Athena’s mission is to change home loan lending in every way so that Australians can achieve financial freedom faster."

The first phase of the marketing campaign includes executions across digital, social, out-of-home and PR.The campaign has been produced in partnership with The Royals.

“We asked for a bold and differentiated campaign to generate cut-through and also to reflect Athena’s unique mission, and The Royals delivered exactly that. ‘Love us and leave us’ perfectly captures the Athena spirit of cutting through the banking jargon and general crap,” Dinsdale said.

Founded by two ex-bankers, Nathan Walsh and Michael Starkey, Athena uses a native cloud digital mortgage platform to deliver better rates through a unique funding structure, bypassing the banks altogether to connect borrowers to superfund-backed loans.

According to the company, digital technology creates the opportunity to originate and invest via simpler, more transparent funding structures, with efficient straight-through processes from borrower to investor. The savings are passed back via great mortgage rates and better returns for investors.

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO ANZ, join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia, or check us out on Google+:google.com/+CmoAu 

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