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Imagination Explores 100 Years of CBA

A temporary exhibition celebrating the centenary of Australia’s Commonwealth Bank called for the multi-disciplinary talents of creative agency Imagination.

Imagination Explores 100 Years of CBA


January 9th, 2012

The end of 2011 marked the 100th anniversary of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA). As the culmination of their centenary celebration, the Bank enlisted the help of experiential communications company Imagination Australia to create an exhibition and event that would commemorate CBA’s history and place in Australian culture.

“The original concept was to create 2 spaces – an event space and an exhibition space,” explains Heath Campanaro, General Manager of Imagination Australia. Placing the event space in the middle with the exhibition space around it “evolved into an amazing design, curved architecture and this beautiful ribbon that takes on a narrative around the last 100 years [of the Bank].”



The exhibition took the form of a linear narrative, told through images, text and mixed media. “There are about 200 stories told in all sorts of different ways, from old film footage to written pieces, to graphics, photography, installations and artefacts,” Campanaro says.

Entitled ’100 Years Together’, the display looked at Australia’s last 100 years through the involvement of CBA.


For Creative Director Lisa Taylor, “It [was] almost like curating an exhibition for a museum.” Taylor and her team – including Insights Director Grant Higgins, who was the “linchpin” in ensuring that information was relevant and accurate – worked with the client and archive department to dig for stories and find artefacts. Propping experts helped to locate items from years gone by that best represented each era of CBA’s existence.





For Campanaro, the “piece de resistance” of the project was the 100m projection drum in the centre of the space, which played host to approximately 8 different types of creative on the night of the CBA’s centenary gala, providing a canvas for a multimedia showreel depicting milestones in the Bank’s history, as well as providing a changing backdrop for the live acts that performed on the night as part of the celebrations.


“We could change the room to suit each performance,” Campanaro explains. “It created an amazing ambience.”

The exhibition took 6 months to plan, 3 days to put up – impressive for a display of this size and detail – and was on show for just 3 days, with the gala celebration forming a key part of the overall project.

“It was an amazing meld of our capabilities coming together – the storytelling side of it, which is what we’re really known for; the design aspect of it, and then of course the actual production and the event aspect, which is a big part of what we do as a business,” Campanaro says.



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