It’s not every day that the Reserve Bank trusts an agency with its banknotes

Reserve Bank of Australia New Bank Notes

A few days ago, the Reserve Bank of Australia released a sneak peak of the soon to be issued $100 banknote.

Now, five years after the RBA commissioned Spinach to launch the next generation of banknotes, our job is almost done.

It has been an incredible journey of learning, collaboration and creative output.

Did you know that the first official currency was minted by King Alyattes of Lydia (now Turkey) in 600 B.C.? Or, that China introduced paper currency around 700 B.C.? Presumably so they could include the inscription, ‘those who are counterfeiting will be decapitated.’

You won’t find any similarly alarming warnings in the micro-print of the next generation banknotes but protecting against counterfeiting and maintaining public confidence in Australia’s banknotes is a core function of the RBA.

The first printing works to produce Australian banknotes was situated near the docks at the western of Flinders Street in Melbourne, and the banknote – of ten shillings denomination – was printed on 1 May 1913. Today, Australian banknotes are printed on polymer and feature many innovative security features.

Our task was to create a multi-media campaign that introduced the next generation of banknotes, highlighted the security features and showcased the unique Australian themes on individual banknotes.

Working closely with the RBA’s design team, ornithologists, botanists and historians we ensured that every design element and security feature was represented as accurately as possible.

The campaign started with the launch of the next generation $5 banknote in September 2016.

Next came the $10 banknote in 2017 then the $50 banknote in 2018. They were followed by the $20 banknote in 2019 and now the $100 banknote.

Over the journey we created multi-media campaigns for each denomination launch including a series of pre-roll videos, digital ads and traditional advertising executions.

Each launch generated a huge amount of interest, money seems to have that effect on people.

But one blow-your-mind stat stands out, the pre-roll video we created to launch the new $5 banknote generated over 1 million views in just a few days.

Much of our work, including 3D animations created in collaboration with our animation partner Cadre Pictures, is now used in interactive presentations in the Reserve Bank of Australia Museum.

No one knows what the future of currency looks like; cash or cashless, a combination of both, or something entirely new, but for now, cash is still king and the next generation of Australian banknotes will be around for some time to come.

Frank Morabito

As our Executive Creative Director, Frank fiercely believes in the power of harnessing the agency’s collective creative force to create great work that achieves extraordinary business results.