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AIB & Women’s Aid - the abusive tellar machine (2019) :90 (Ireland)

Having just come out of judging yet another award show, this is the kind of thing I slap a thumbs up, or 100% on. and hurry to the next item when I cull shortlists. You had me at "Abusive Teller Machines", I understood the idea right there. 

So let's watch this, shall we?  An innocent looking teller machine has been prepped by ROTHCO, so it's now the ‘Abusive Teller Machine’. An AIB ATM that has the controlling behaviour of a financially abusive partner. When people attempted to withdraw money from their account, it demands to know why -  “Why do you need more money?” “Are you hiding money from me?” “If you’re lying, I’ll find out.” The well executed sound and music adds to the uncomfortable tension.

People using the machine get frustrated, annoyed, and basically tell the machine it's none of its business. At the end of the abusive attempt of a transaction, the machine tells the user that over 198,000 women are suffering financial abuse by their partners at any given time.

Customers were then directed to seek support from Women’s Aid if they, or someone they knew, were suffering. This idea works so well because it's a real bank and stems from their own research. As Ireland’s largest financial institution, AIB is actively tackling a range of issues affecting its customers. Working behind the scenes, its dedicated Group Advocacy department, established in 2018, had identified that financial abuse within relationships was a serious issue within Ireland. This led to a collaboration with Women’s Aid, the nation’s leading organisation dedicated to stopping domestic violence against women and children - who revealed the shocking extent of the issue (over 198,000 women or 1 in 10 women over the age of 15) - on a campaign to raise awareness and reach out to women suffering financial abuse.


Mark Doyle, Chief Marketing Officer at AIB comments: “Through our discussions with Women’s Aid it became clear just how big an issue financial abuse within relationships is in Ireland, and how little it’s being talked about specifically. Given the numbers of women affected, we wanted to collaborate with Women’s Aid to raise public awareness and education levels around what constitutes financial abuse, and to ensure anyone who is suffering knows who to turn to for support. At an organisational level, we’re ensuring we have the right support in place to meaningfully assist any of our customers who are experiencing financial abuse.”



Margaret Martin, Director at Women’s Aid says: “Women’s Aid is very pleased to partner with AIB on highlighting the issue of financial abuse.  Financial abuse can be a significant barrier for women trying to leave abusive partners with data showing that one in 10 Irish women experience this damaging form of abuse. This campaign will bring greater awareness and increase understanding of the range of controlling behaviours used by abusive partners and direct those affected to the Women’s Aid 24hr National Freephone Helpline.  The leadership shown by AIB in addressing this issue and working towards provision of good practice supports is very welcome.”


As well as raising awareness, the activation had the ultimate goal of providing victims, or concerned family and friends, with both the resources to know what to look for and on-call expert support of Women’s Aid. Alongside the campaign, AIB has has put in place a range of initiatives around the issue, to ensure any customers experiencing financial abuse by their partner receive the support they need.

For the Abusive Teller Machine interaction to be effective, customers couldn’t know what to expect. So, a series of hidden cameras were set up in an AIB branch to capture their reactions during their confrontation with the ATM. A Women’s Aid and AIB representative were both on hand to directly support anyone affected by the experience.


Alan Kelly, Chief Creative Officer at ROTHCO | Accenture Interactive comments: “Financial abuse is the one form of abuse that people simply don’t talk about.  So, we needed to start a conversation to finally ‘out’ this hidden issue. But simply telling people about it wasn’t going to cut it. Financial abuse is so subtle and sinister, that people have to experience it to fully understand the problem. So that’s exactly what our Abusive ATM set out to do.”


Stephen Rogers, Creative Director at ROTHCO | Accenture Interactive comments:  "It was going to take real bravery from the team in AIB to approve an activation that intentionally subverted a normally seamless, positive experience for their customers. But once presented, we all agreed it was the right thing to do to help bring awareness to the very serious problem of financial abuse.”


The Abusive Teller Machine film will appear online across Women’s Aid website and social channels, along with AIB’s social channels.

Client: Allied Irish Bank

 Agency: Rothco | Accenture Interactive

Agency Producer: Aisling O’Dwyer

Executive Creative Director: Alan Kelly

Creative DirectorStephen Rogers

Senior Art Director: Matt Evans

Senior CopywriterJames Pash

Designer: Gerard Sexton

DesignerStephen Flynn

Business Director: Jimi McGrath

Senior Account Director: Emily Lyons

Account Manager: Amy Harrington

Strategy: Bronagh O’Donovan

Data Strategy LeadJennifer Langan

Project ManagerIrene Sharkey

Technical DirectorDaire Lennon

Senior Developer: Sean Crawford

Digital Developer: Greg Callan

Junior DeveloperNiall Eccles


Production Company: Antidote

Director: Ross Whitaker

Producer: Aideen O’Sullivan


Post House: Raygun

Editor: Rob Hegarty

Post Production Supervisor: Jen Connolly Raygun

Production Designer: Joe Fallover (Fallover Art)


Sound: Raygun

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Anonymous Adgrunt's picture
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AnonymousCoward's picture

The same campaign was made for HSBC and was aired a month ago

Sport's picture

Do you know if there's an English version of that ad out anywhere yet?

Dabitch's picture

Thanks for the reminder. Tagging this dupliclaims. Seems like it's the same idea at the same time though, since they are executed in countries so far apart and for slightly different reasons.