ASB farewells ‘The Ghost of San Francisco’ in a new campaign celebrating the America’s Cup win

Published on:

ASB has released a campaign featuring ‘The Ghost of San Francisco’ as part of its America’s Cup sponsorship. 

The bank, which has a long-term relationship with Emirates Team New Zealand, dating back to 2000, says the campaign is a tribute to a historic victory and a remarkable comeback in Bermuda this year. 

ASB general manager marketing Shane Evans said Team New Zealand’s win in Bermuda is perhaps one of the greatest sporting examples of Kiwi ingenuity and spirit. 

“We all felt the pain four years ago. But in a very real way, it’s that loss that makes the story of this team and their triumph all the more remarkable,” Evans said.

“This was no ordinary win. This campaign is not only celebrating the victory, but also a country that wasn’t afraid to get back behind their team, and cheer as they raced the giants of sailing again. It's a story of innovation and bravery that goes right to the heart of the Kiwi character.” 

The campaign is led by a TV ad where a ghostly character, dressed in sailing cap and blazer, reflects on the job he’s done for the last four years.

The ghost said: “I mean, how often do you get the chance to haunt an entire nation.” 

Yet, as he packs up his things and prepares to leave, the ghost reveals he’s happy the team won, saying he’s “celebrating the prospect of a new job and looking forward to fewer late nights.” 

Evans said it seemed appropriate to celebrate Team New Zealand’s win with a smile. 

“The campaign also speaks to the innovation behind the win - it took guts to put bikes on a boat. Innovation is something we celebrate at ASB, and we wanted to celebrate it here, in this campaign, too.” 

The Ghost of San Francisco is the first campaign from ASB produced by WiTH Collective, who worked with The Downlow Concept to realise the idea. 

WiTH Collective chief creative officer Steve Coll said the phrase ‘The Ghost of San Francisco’ popped up repeatedly during the America’s Cup racing. 

“Even the crew referred to it. ASB kept pushing us to get to the heart of what the race meant to Kiwis. And it seemed the ghost was a key part of it.

 “The victory came from fearless innovation, thinking differently, taking risks and putting it all on the line. It is one of history’s great sporting comebacks and something that absolutely anyone can appreciate - even the bloke who’s been haunting Kiwis for the last four years.” 

Coll said ASB was instrumental in helping WiTH move at pace to complete this job, and was enormously supportive throughout. 

“I’d particularly like to thank our production team and the team at Downlow. This was lightning fast from start to finish, and Iain, Jarrod, Nigel and Camilo have worked incredibly hard and performed minor miracles.” 

Downlow founders, Nigel McCullough and Jarrod Holt said creating the campaign was almost as intense as watching the races. “But we thought the concept was spot on. It's been a really great collaboration with Nic and Si from WiTH Collective, and we’re very pleased with the result.”


ASB Roger Beaumont - Executive General Manager Marketing and Communications Shane Evans – General Manager Marketing Bianca Osborne – Brand Manager Emma-Rose Forrester – Assistant Brand Manager Sharon Moffatt - Head of Marketing Services Michael Wood – Production Manager Jasmine Taggart - Social Media Specialist Simone McCallum, Head of Corporate Content & Social Media

WiTH Collective Steve Coll, CCO Justin Hind, CEO Nicole Hetherington, Creative Director Simon Fowler, Creative Director Pat Anderson and Will Winter-Irving, Creative Team Iain Todd, Head of Production and Content Elle Horton, Senior Account Manager 

The Downlow Concept Jarrod Holt, Director Nigel McCullough, Director Camilo Spath, Producer Paddy Compter, Producer Edit: Philippe Lods Online & Grade: Creature Sound: Liquid Studios 

Media Carat New Zealand