But Westpac’s latest commercial is melting hearts across the country.
The new ad launched earlier this month as part of the bank’s “help” campaign, which highlights how it supports small business owners in need.
The minute-long video tells the moving story of a young refugee couple who flee their war-torn homeland for Australia.
It opens in a Lebanese hospital, where the young man is working as a doctor as bombs explode outside.
It then flashes to a scene of him driving his pregnant wife who later gives birth in a tent in what appears to be a refugee camp.
They then arrive in Australia, where the young man becomes a baker’s apprentice, as his medical degree is presumably not recognised in his new country.
At first, he struggles and cops criticism from his boss, but over time he improves, and he eventually opens his own bakery, the Baker of Beirut.
He packs away his stethoscope to focus on his business — and the clip ends with his now-adult daughter following in his footsteps to pursue a medical career.
OMG WAS IT THE LEBANESE BAKERY FATHER ONE, because I cried
— sameera (@sameeraaaa1) June 10, 2019
Ugh. Bloody Westpac. Hate them because they’re a big bank but by god do I love their “Baker of Beirut” TV ad. Gets me every frigging time.
— terri psiakis (@terripsiakis) June 4, 2019
Westpac banks new ad is really beautiful.. I never thought I would say that about a bank but wow..
— Adela Blackwood in Melbourne (@AdelaBlackwood8) June 3, 2019
War-torn migrants focus of Westpac’s latest ‘help’ campaign https://t.co/oyYB5v5Ur4 via @MumbrellaNews ok I got a quiet tear in my eye at this before it was a bank ad. If it was a John Lewis ad, I would have cried more loudly.
— Madonna Deverson (@madnyc) June 4, 2019
Holy hell a @Westpac ad just made me cry.
“Baker of Beirut” is a beautiful piece of storytelling.
— Christopher Johnson (@Dream_Brother_) June 2, 2019
Good TVCs are few and far between. But #Westpac’s ‘Baker of Beirut’ is a good one.https://t.co/JYA2EGcy5g
— Michael Bell (@Xtrackka) June 3, 2019
Many Australian viewers have been so moved by the commercial they have taken to Twitter to praise it, with many claiming it left them in tears.
“Holy hell a @Westpac ad just made me cry. ‘Baker of Beirut’ is a beautiful piece of storytelling,” one Twitter user said, while another wrote: “The @Westpac Business TVC, ‘Baker of Beirut’ is all the feels.”
The footage is accompanied by Amy Shark’s cover of the song “Because I love you” and was made by Westpac’s creative agency of record DDB Sydney.
DDB Sydney creative partner Matt Chandler told Mumbrella the “epic story of grit and sacrifice” had been a “privilege to make”.
“It really pays homage to so many small business owners with similar stories to that of the central character Ali; people who have set out on their own to build a life for their families,” he told the publication.
Westpac is making a name for itself by creating advertisements that pull on Australia’s heartstrings.
Its previous “Frank” campaign followed the death of man and was designed to highlight the bank’s willingness to help grieving customers, while an earlier “help” campaign featured families dealing with separation.
Jen Melhuish, Westpac Group’s head of brand, advertising and media, told news.com.au the bank was “really proud” of the ad and “very happy with the response” from the public.
“Our latest campaign brings to life the sheer dedication, challenges and rewards faced by small business owners of today. For many, when operating a family business, it becomes a focal part of that family’s life — the ups and the downs,” she said.
“Our goal was to show how we understand those challenges, and that we are there to help at every stage of their journey.
“Westpac has developed a new online hub with a range of support to help Australians start, grow and maintain a small business — from practical tools and resources for employment and cash flow needs to products and services that help businesses and staff get paid faster.
“We are really pleased to see it resonating with a broad cross-section of the community.”
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