"Money Is Good, Money Is Bad" – But What The Hell Is The Ad For?

September 30, 2012 William 129 Comments

Updates will appear at the bottom. Original post date 17 September 2012.

Ok so recently you may have noticed these new TV advert running that tell a story, one being about money being bad and the other about money being good the big question everyone is asking who are who are they for and what on earth are they advertising?!

They’re a bit like the 2010 Burger King campaign “The King Is Coming” where they ran a whole series of TV ads with no real information and then later revealing what the ad was for, but this campaign I feel is on a whole new level…

Also for someone like me who likes knowing what’s going on this is very frustrating, so I’ve done some digging around and basically come up with nothing – very disappointing – even people on Twitter joking and hypothesising about what it could be, but still nothing!

Here’s what I know and have managed to work out. In my opinion it’s interesting it is currently running on both major TV networks in prime time on TVNZ (TV One) and MediaWorks (TV3) this tells me it is unlikely to be for a new TV show/series because it would only be running on one station and to make matters worse when I was paying for my car park today stuck on the bottom of the meter machine was a poster with the famous words “Money Is Good” with nothing else…

Coincidentally or maybe just a fluke moneyisbad.co.nz and moneyisgood.co.nz were both registered to the same company on the same day 20/8/12 and that Company happens to be a digital agency based in Wellington called Catch Design Limited and according to their website some of their clients include the likes of 2 Degrees Mobile, VTNZ, ACC and many others. Now I’m not saying I think it’s for one of those brands because I don’t think you would go to all this effort to keep quiet and then let the design team list you as a client.

And that’s really all I have at this point updates to follow, _______________________________________________________________________________

Update 18/09/12: I called Catch Design Limited This morning and asked to speak to Hamish (listed as the domain register) who unfortunately was in a meeting at the time, so I said to the receptionist do you by any chance have anything to do with money is good, money is bad? She replied with a strong laugh and “I decline to comment” and referred me back to Hamish for any any of my questions. So now we know they’re in on it!

Update 18/09/12: There are rumours that it could be for one of the major banks, however Kiwibank just tweeted;

Update 19/09/12 (Now Redundant): A unofficial Twitter account has appeared @GoodMoneyBad with the tagline “Depending on how much of it you have and what you do with it, money can change everything…” it would also seem the promotion is just about to begin.

Update 19/09/12: I don’t think Westpac New Zealand is behind it, however their advertising team have jumped on the bandwagon with web banner ads “Is Money Good or Bad – It All Depends”

Update 19/09/12 (Now Redundant): Interestingly no one has acquired the same URL for Facebook (facebook.com/GoodMoneyBad) as they have for Twitter. This suggests that the company may already have a Facebook page and will use Facebook tabs for this promotion.

Update 20/09/12 (Now Redundant): When I said in my original post this campaign was on a whole new level it would now seems so, with the campaign Twitter page tweeting “Our first #MoneyDrop will be in Auckland CBD tomorrow at 9am. Specific location will be announced at 8am. $10,000 will be dropped.” I hate to think how much this campaign has cost already!

Update 20/09/12: Great technical sleuthing by Mmmm Pineapple on the design teams website and hosting arrangement for this campaign.

Update 20/09/12: The ad(s) have been uploaded to YouTube unofficially;

Update 21/09/12: The Twitter account @GoodMoneyBad is a hoax and has no connection with the campaign.

Update 23/09/12: Today I spoke with a advertising billboard contract who was removing “Money Is Good” poster ad as their time had come to an end, he didn’t know if any more ads had been scheduled or obviously who the ads were for.

Update 23/09/12 (Now Redundant): HashTag Radio have an ‘reliable source’ who has indicated it could be for Wheedle Ltd

Update 24/09/12: Mmmm Pineapple has found some proof that BNZ were a client of Catch Design back in 2009.

Update 26/09/12: ANZ and National Bank are rebranding, but this campaign is nothing to do with them;

Update 26/09/12: Wheedle Ltd have confirmed it’s nothing to do with them either;

Update 30/09/12: The advertising campaign is for Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) it all so coincides with the launch of their new website.

Final Update 30/09/12: I’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has followed and helped with information about this campaign since the 17th September.

My website received over 11,000 unique visitors over this period which is a pretty strong indication I was not the only person wondering what this ad was about. When I originally published this post I did not expect anything like this at all or that it would take up so much of my time, however it has been great fun and once again thank you to all of you.

129 People reacted on this

  1. So dissapointed! I was really hoping that a fresh interesting ad campaign like this was going to be for a fresh interesting product. Instead it’s just BNZ changing nothing. Banks rip you off. Full stop. They ALL do it. BNZ, Westpac, etc etc etc. They charge huge fees for the task of letting you spend your money and bigger fees for lending you money to buy a house.
    The GOOD MONEY is the money you keep secret from the banks, the tax man and spend on what you choose.
    The BAD MONEY is the money wasted on interest payments, hire purchase and bank charges.

    1. Banks are not always trying to rip you off. In fact, this conversation that BNZ is starting is a very important one seeing as only 8% of New Zealanders are financially confident, and 80% want to be more so. This is about managing your money better and knowing how to manage the money you do have. It is also about trying to change peoples perception of banks away from the money-grabbing organisations you suggest and towards a group of people who are there to let you make the most of how ever much money you have. Think: the Bank FOR New Zealand, not the Bank OF New Zealand.

  2. I saw two billboards in Mt Eden this morning with “Money is neither good nor bad. It’s how you use it.” It’s BNZ.

  3. I don’t want to give too much away. It will all be revealed on Sunday night. Its not EA games. Everybody in NZ knows the company.

  4. It’s BNZ. My friend works at a branch and a while ago they had a meeting saying that they were ‘going to completely change the way they serve customers’ and that there were going to be very act changes etc. A few days ago they gave every employee a box with a padlock, and were waiting to give her a code. I haven heard what what was inside it yet.

    BNZ would have caught wind of the national bank merger and decided to throw their money into claiming those who decide to change banks.

  5. I don’t see how it can be for a product or even a company. It feels like a political or social message to me. I assumed it was a global thing cos it has an american actor and seems set in the USA…?

  6. I work at a company that makes stencils to put on pavements and footpaths.
    We are currently making Money Is Good and Money Is Bad stencils by the box full and I can CONFIRM that it is 100% linked to EA Games.

    We’ve speculated that it may be some big game realease like the SIMS? Someone also think it is some form of protest AGAINST EA. Not sure though.

    TL;DR I can confirm that EA Games is linked in some way to the advertising.

  7. I have a friend who was hired to put up some Money-is-Good & Money-is-Bad stickers at very specific locations (specific windows on specific banks + various spots at the university, among other places), and although he knows very little, he seemed to think that it was something to do with EA games, based on the limited information he was given. This would add some credence to the idea that it’s for a video game release.

    1. it will not be for EA, given this is their release schedule for the rest of the year none of the titles fit;

      FIFA 13

      1. Actually that explains the animation. So realistic but it does really look like amazing game graphics. watch it again if you’re not sure. No idea on the game but it does make sense

  8. A quick google search for money is good adverts gives a promoted result from westpac.co.nz titled…. “Is money good or bad… it all depends on how you’re managing it….. “… Mystery solved…. BTW Wheedle have denied they are behind the ads…

    1. That just means their digital marketing team knows what they’re doing. Doesn’t mean they’re behind the ads.

      It’s BNZ that’s running this campaign – heard from a very reliable source in the ad industry today.

  9. Actor is Toby Huss from the HBO series Carnivale’
    also in Kung fu panda, cleveland show, beavis and butthead, cowboys and aliens, bob’s burgers, 30 rock etc etc etc…
    Make of that what you will.
    Can’t help but feel we may be disappointed when we find out its for a bank or a video game or a tv show… (not that I have too much invested in it) some may say we are playing right into their slick advertising douche-bag hands by even talking about it. 🙂

    1. It isn’t the ANZ logo, although it bears enough of a similarity that most people will think it is when it is seen briefly.

  10. Its the new merging of a new Labour and National party call Labional.
    A poll is being conducted picking randomn telephone listings regarding the ads and getting the feel from the public which they prefer, from that poll they are deciding which policies to push first when in joint power, its been revealed on a needs to know basis that the “Money is Bad” ad poll is leading. :-).

  11. It is all about the choice
    good – evil
    Cain – Abel, Devil – God, Ozzy – NZ, Bourbon – Whiskey, Go left – Go right, save – spend, telecom – vodafone, ford – holden. Keep watching for the answer to be soon reveled.

  12. its HALO 4 … about to be released features DEMONS (… olympics) reptilian lucifer. There’s a bunch of fakesites setup to back drama the storyline as has been done before with other games. The release represents billions of dollars revenue and the game industry far exceeds the movie industry.

  13. People, what is the only “Real” logo displayed on the advert, it’s pretty clear and evident as to who is being advertised here

  14. Heres my take on it, these adds annoy the living crap out of me so I have decided what ever they are offering – I don’t want it. It’s like that outfit IGLOO that started advertising and has still come to nothing, I sent them an email a month back after waiting two months to see what they were going to offer telling them that I was not willing to wait any more and now even if they had it running the next day – I didn’t want to know. My advise to everyone make the descision to have no interest in these adds and get on with your lives. Whats the point in tripping over yourselves to find out about something so overhyped, it can only be this overhyped and hidden to generate interest in something that normaly 99.999% of perople have no interest in whatseoever – thats my 2c worth.

    1. another NZ fail to start (like TIVO was here)… Pay igloo to buy/rent a box, and what, download or satellite the shows you want on a pay per view basis? It’s already here! it’s called the internet and there are no additional charges (in breach of legality tho)… they did save an expensive investment in rolling out a product if only 2 of us enquired at their website

  15. It might be a format of gameplay I was thinking about 2 years ago, taking gaming into the real world, all players buy in, then players are eliminated over time having not completed real world tasks…

  16. as soon as i first saw the ads i thought of “Grand Theft Auto 5” the whole point of this new game is to choose (apparently) between good or bad ie use money for good or go the crime path. on the official website, it says “in pursuit of the all mighty dollar”
    big game companies are notorius for ad campaigns and especially something like Rockstar and GTA have the money and skills to pull something like this off. who knows…….

  17. I believe it is the merger of anz national. The logo in the shop window is very close to the current anz one plus the merger is happening next month with their branding. Plus iconography such as the blue and green bird cages occurs throughout.

    1. Yep, have to agree it looks like it’s for the ANZ/National Bank merger. The logo on the window in the “money is good’ ad looks very similiar to the ANZ one.

  18. A new banking service (bump banking NFC), a new beer, a new iPhone, a new video game, a TV game show, a new shopping merchant or gambling awareness… its a pointless debate and time better spent out walking your dog than some new company out to sell you something new that you don’t actually need. All the money in the world didn’t keep Steve Jobs alive, so whether money is good or bad is not relevant compared to your health and happiness at this very moment

  19. Ok. Money is Bad is back up. It appears the original was a miss-post of money is good and now replaced by the correct video but lower quality.

  20. Money is Bad video has been taken down from YouTube (this video has been removed by the user) both good and bad were posted by MyTube20069. So, why only the bad removed?

    1. I dont personally believe it is a bank, why would they agree to money being “bad”. Their industry is based around selling us Money in one shape or other. I reckon some sort of Sky TV show ?.

  21. IMO its an ad for the inevitable rise of the little people against capitalism and the growing gap between rich and poor.

    pity we are all too poor to afford to rise and end the inequality, plus too busy, im sure to be stuck at work when the rebellion begins

  22. I’m quite annoyed because I’ve yet to see the ‘Money is Bad’ advertisement more than once… I predominantly watch TV1 but the only time I’ve seen the ‘Money is Bad’ one was tonight and even then I was busy cooking dinner so I didn’t get to appreciate it fully. One would think that if a company was wanting to promote a campaign with two sides like this they would go to more effort to present both sides. I watch quite a lot of TV so I would have expected to have seen it at least twice by now. Frustratingly, even the Youtube link above only shows the ‘Money is Good’ ad…

  23. Heard a strange buzzing in the sky this afternoon and looked out to see a plane pulling a banner with “money is bad” on it, this was in Christchurch

      1. If you are referring to the YouTube version (above) it’s probably the advert after as it’s an unofficial upload of the advert.

        1. I saw it too, not on YouTube on the TV but I haven’t seen it again either??? My boyfriend doesn’t believe me! It’s so annoying I want to know.

  24. just seen two aeroplanes towing the banner across the auckland skies. first was “money is good”, then “money is bad” came shortly after.

    The line may have been taken from proverbs (acording to http://www.viveca.net/the-bible-according-to-viveca/)
    “Money is good. Money is bad. Money is meaningless”

    There could be another advert yet.

    Could this be a series of adverts for a church?
    Where is this ad Destined to go?

  25. Just realised I know this Hamish Stevenson…
    to throw another angle out there, another client is The Presbyterian Church…

  26. I heard that the campaign was a follow on campaign from money week at the start of the month – linked to sorted.org.nz – note that sorted are pushing money management ATM. Westpac were also a major part of money week thou. Guess that we will find out soon 🙂 Good things come to those that wait!

  27. saw a pavement “tattoo” of ‘Money is Good’ between the entrance of Burger King and Sky City Metro/Event Cinemas on Queen Street in Auckland yesterday. The day before that there was a ‘Money is Bad’ pavement tatt outside the old BNZ building (also on Queen Street).

    Not sure what the ad is for but it is a good ad. I too hope its not a bank… speaking of could be Kim Dot-Com with his drama in donating to John Banks (basing this on the tweet that asked would you still accept the money even if from an unethical source.

  28. It’s almost October. That means it’ll be a Radio Station Ad. It’s almost ratings survey time.

    Looks like a stunt the Edge would push.

    $10,000 money drop? <— that's classic radio stunting.

  29. Hey nice stuff. We should really consider harnessing the power of the internets for solving murders and rapes!

    I’ve got something to add incase you haven’t got that already, Catch! is a part of Carat – which is the agency that works for ASB Bank.

    ASB Bank is a part of Commonwealth Bank in Aus, they ran a similar campaign called “Can/Can’t”.

    Some more details if you want: http://aucklandia.com/post/31883284774/what-is-money-is-bad-money-is-good

    1. Sin Ahmed:
      The information provided from your source is incorrect and misleading.

      Carat actually owns Catch! Media, which can be found at http://www.catchmedia.co.nz/

      Catch! Media is not related to Catch Design.

      Carat and Catch! Media are both Auckland based agencies; while Catch Design is a Wellington based design.

      Catch Design is a registered New Zealand company fully and privately owned by Hamish Stevenson (http://www.business.govt.nz/companies/app/ui/pages/companies/1668077/shareholdings?backurl=%2Fcompanies%2Fapp%2Fui%2Fpages%2Fcompanies%2Fsearch%3Fq%3DCatch%2BDesign%2BLimited%26entityTypes%3DALL%26entityStatusGroups%3DALL%26incorpFrom%3D%26incorpTo%3D%26addressTypes%3DALL%26addressKeyword%3D%26start%3D0%26limit%3D15%26sf%3D%26sd%3D%26advancedPanel%3Dfalse%26mode%3Dstandard)

      As mentioned in the original article, Catch Design is the registered owner of the domains moneyisbad.co.nz and moneyisgood.co.nz

      The contact details provided for these domain registrations lists Hamish as the contact person, which must be the same Hamish Stevenson who owns Catch Design Limited.

      So we can rule out the involvement of Catch! Media and Carat.

      Catch Design have a number of subdomains on their development (or production?) server including:
      2degrees.catchdesign.net.nz – 2Degrees Mobile (password required)
      ladeda.catchdesign.net.nz – Ladeda Festival
      wrfutemp.catchdesign.co.nz – Wellington Hurricanes
      8interactive.catchdesign.co.nz – Some random app
      hokotehi.catchdesign.net.nz – ? (password required)

      They also have subdomains logankj and streetfighter which don’t point to anything. Neither of which seem relevant to money.

      They have 5 production servers: – prod1 (appears to host most of their websites) – prod2 (used to host the itrockstar.co.nz website) – prod3 (hosts the wellington hurricanes website and associated itsyourmembership.co.nz website) – prod4 (Unknown) – prod5 (Unknown)

      But the answers to your question of what moneyisgood.co.nz and moneyisbad.co.nz probably lies somewhere in those servers.

      It is possible that they’ve created a subdomain for the websites during their development phase. It’s proving difficult to find though!
      And nothing seems to resemble the “Demon Olympics” ad references mentioned by the cinema folks below.

      Disclaimer: all this information was publicly accessible at the time of access, and obtained using legal DNS record methods.
      I do not condone nor encourage any illegal behaviour in relation to this information.

      1. oh and bikewise.catchdesign.net.nz of course.

        moneyisgood.catchdesign.net.nz and moneyisbad.catchdesign.net.nz don’t work obviously

      2. Update: – prod5 appears to hold bikewise.co.nz

        That leaves – prod4 as an unknown.
        Nothing seems to be linked to this server (yet).

        Money is Bad/Good looks like a pretty major campaign with all the advertisements and moneydrops around, so chances are it would be hosted on its own server.

        Disclaimer: all this information was publicly accessible at the time of access, and obtained using legal DNS record methods.
        I do not condone nor encourage any illegal behaviour in relation to this information.

  30. My theory is they are for the new Atlas Shrugged movie (part 2) due out in October. One of the themes in the book is the debate about whether pursuing money is good or bad.

  31. iiiiiiinteresting, i have just seen it for the first time on the telly, good campaign! its got all of us talking. i shall be watching this space

  32. I am pretty sure in the ‘money is good’ ad I saw the ANZ brand (logo). In the money is bad one – the poker chips in the card game scene are the same blue as ANZ.

  33. I think it’s a great set of ads. It makes you think, is intriguing and is obviously creating quite a bit of interest. Mysteries are fun.
    As for money being good or bad- money is an inanimate object, what you do with it and what belief you link to it, is how you will feel about it.

  34. There are large posters around Auckland city saying money is bad. I hope it is something cooler than just a bank! But it is very similar to Heinekken/Steinlager type ads.

  35. Westpac? did a google search on money is good money is bad advertisement. And one of the results is for Westpac ” Is money good or bad” – It all depends on how you’re managing it.

  36. Hi, Great to have others wonder about this ad. Started to feel I was the only one that had seen and questioned it. At least we are not alone with the intrigue over this strange ad. It is actually rather sinister looking. Love your investigation expertise William. Well done!

  37. My bet is it for Westpac. They have online banner ads saying “money is it good or bad? All depends on how you’re managing it”

  38. Wow! so other people are wondering too!

    I was in the Wellington CBD yesterday and there were 3 men dressed completely in black holding large signs, each with the words ‘Money is Bad’ painted on them. They were wandering around for about 45 minutes then they dissapeared.

    Im looking for more info!

  39. I don’t know, maybe it’s for Pokerstars? Anyway it’s annoying isn’t it, all this mystery! It better be for something interesting (not a bank, that would be lame) – otherwise what a disappointment!

    1. Totally disappointed!!! BNZ – who cares? All banks are evil anyway – aren’t they?!

      I would have been more impressed if they’d come up with something like “BNZ, where we are slightly less evil than the rest.”

      Don’t understand the ethical questioning aspect of this campaign – as if any bank is in a position to comment on ethics and doing the right thing with money!


  40. We just recieved the Money Is Bad advert at the Cinema where I work, and it’s official title is “Demon Olympics – Money is Bad”! So I had a quick search but can’t find anything about the “Demon Olympics” online! But it’s a lead at least!

    1. I have confirmed this also…

      Based on the ads when being sent to cinemas they are running these two ads at the moment:


      and are scheduled to run another ad titled

      DEMON OLYMPICS – FINALE… which is due to run from the 30th Sept – 24th OCT.

      1. Keeping in mind folks, that cinema releases are often released/shipped under an alias for this exact reason. Quite often the title on the box/reel/run-sheet has nothing to do with the actual content. I worked in a cinema for a long time and know this from experience. This especially goes for high profile films/campaigns.

  41. Normally I don’t learn article on blogs, however I would like to say that this write-up very pressured me to take a look at and do it! Your writing taste has been amazed me. Thanks, quite great post.

  42. I like to think money is more bad then good the fact that it causes problems while solving them speaks for itself and we would live a better life without it. about 6 months ago I posted on face book, long story short it was a plan to live and work for free I’ve since been locked out of my FB page and had to start a new one

      1. If you visit catchdesign site but delete the cfgood you get….

        Apache is functioning normally

        No idea what that means of if it’s relavant in any way (prob not)

        I tried substituting money, moneyisgood, demon and a couple of other words but all got me nowhere. Someone with more time can give it a go!

        I do like the adverts and really hope they are NOT for ANZ or any other bank.

  43. Does anyone have a link to the ad anywhere? I can’t find it and I seem to be one of the only people whose seen it in my friends group.

  44. If anyone has mysky or teevo and manages to record this ad could they please upload it to YouTube. I’ve seen it but im on a rampage to solve the mystery as well.

  45. It provides interesting food for thought. Turns out that it’s not “money” that is good or bad we just blame it.

  46. Been wondering the same thing – saw one of those dual billboards (they’re side by side but at about a 45 degree angle to each other) with ‘Money is Good’ on one side and something about Lotto on the other. I assumed they were linked but saw the ‘Money is Bad’ ad tonight and now I’m not so sure… 🙂

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