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2009 Maj | Habza.pl - Part 2

- archiwa tagu

Articles worth reading: 2

Motion-sensing retail window from Citizens Bank

There’s a lot of photos and a video how this nice thing works under the above link. Very good idea on an interaction with current and potential Clients, literally any pedestrian. Unique ideas like that always attract attention of the general public. It reminds me described on this website bus-stop-scale (and similar solutions, not yet described ;-)).

This common financial tagline equates to a “life” sentence

“It makes logical sense for a bank or credit union to use this phrase, “…For Life.” It has a nice double meaning. On the one hand, it means, “for everyday living.” On the other, it means, “forever.” Who doesn’t think that feels good?”

Banks do love that word, some good examples of slogans are there.

Credit union gets snarky with ‘greeting card’ for banks

“Coast Capital Savings, a credit union in British Columbia, is asking people to add their signatures and messages to an 8′x10′ greeting card that “congratulates” big banks for the $3 billion in fees that they charge Canadians annually.”
“…is part of a wider campaign from Coast Capital Savings highlighting “ridiculous bank transaction costs.””
“Ads use satirical statements such as “Banking fees are like paying rent on my own money,” and “Banking fees are exciting because you never see them coming.””
“Bushore thinks it’s outrageous that the big banks are charging people fees for the ‘privilege’ of accessing their money. “It’s your money,” he says. “It doesn’t make sense that you have to pay to get at it.””

I do like the ‘I love fees’ (supported by a website) series, like an old man saying: ‘Finding all those fees in my bank statements keeps my mind active., and at my age that’s important’. Videos are placed in the article, ‘Free research’ series is also good.

Miami banker gives $60 million of his own to employees

”After selling a majority stake in Miami-based City National Bancshares last November, all he did was take $60 million of the proceeds — $60 million out of his own pocket — and hand it to his tellers, bookkeepers, clerks, everyone on the payroll. All 399 workers on the staff received bonuses, and he even tracked down 72 former employees so they could share in the windfall.”

What a decent man.

Trend alert: Financial makeover reality contests

”“…savings challenges,” reality-based contests in which selected finalists compete to achieve specific savings and debt reduction goals…”
“…a mix of reality television, online interaction and individual planning to encourage members to reduce debt, increase savings and get control of their financial lives.”
““Layoffs, bankruptcies, foreclosures — it’s all around us. People are afraid and they need help, they need advice, they need someone they can trust,””
“A savings challenge can be a good strategy if you want to build your brand around financial counseling and “advice you can trust.” But if those aren’t part of your strategic plan or components of your core brand, this kind of campaign probably isn’t right for you.”

What times do we live in. People voluntarily are getting rid of their privacy, and all to the glory of the financial institution… Disregarding morals, ethics, and credulousness his is a good concept. Institution is there to help you, and you will feel better in a community of people with similar worries. That’s what the social buzz is all about right now (and will be in predictable future).

PR now completely overshadows ads in financial crisis

”People don’t want to hear what most financial institutions have to say right now…that is, unless they are apologizing.”
““Not many financial institutions are ‘doing,’ most are just ‘saying,’” Stull observed. “Your message needs to be real and show what you are doing.””
“Financial institutions have zero credibility (see the UPDATE in the comments below), so you need a credible messenger if what you want to say is to have any impact.”

Creative Showcase for March 2009
A bunch of nice promotional ideas. BECU ‘Can do’ spot is especially worth recommending:
‘We’re finding ways to help people’
‘Can-DO attitude’

Datahead: Research from around the financial industry
Some really scary figures, like i.e.:

”8% – Percentage of those who feel fully confident in banks,
down from 31% who reported full confidence in 2006.”


”35% – Percentage of people who are less likely to trust their bank.”


Q&A: An interview about financial branding

”…common branding mistake organizations make is obsessing over the brand’s visual identity. The look-and-feel of an organization is only one small part of an overall brand.”
“…assuming that it’s their “service” that differentiates them. When I ask a financial institution what differentiates them, 9 times out of 10 they’ll say, “It’s our service.” If everyone is saying the same thing, then (1) it isn’t helping differentiate anyone, and (2) in all likelihood, many of them are lying.”
“It’s the same problem with mission statements, and why everyone’s reads exactly the same: “Our mission is to be the premier provider of quality financial solutions by earning people’s trust in the most friendly and professional manner possible.” Scratch out the common clichés and what are you left with? Not much.”
“A good place to start is to get rid of any pictures of shiny, happy people in your marketing materials. I’ve got drawers full of brochures from banks across North America that are brimming with lifestyle photos. Avoid these like the plague and you’re well on your way to creating a distinct brand identity.”

I do not want to copy all of it here, so I do really recommend visiting the link. Creating a distinct brand identity should be the ultimate goal of all financial institutions. Services, procedures, rates etc. that all can be copied, but our IDENTITY defines who we are. This is the one thing that ca not be copied – not only because strict copyright/intellectual property laws, but because of people who create it.

Barclays has fun with ‘Water Slides’
Description of the Barclays campaign, to which I made some remarks here.

Banks and Credit Unions on Twitter

”Participating in Twitter is a low-cost entry into social media that can actually help save a customer relationship or three. Compared to blogging, it is much less labor intensive. It’s also less of a marketing platform given the 140-character limit in posts.”

I must getting old, as the Twitter hype really bypasses me, but I do see its potential. Also, it s rather serious business, as some might pay for it 700 000 000 $… It reminds me the $15 billion Facebook evaluation some time ago, but never mind that. If something is free to use, and give an opportunity to contact with your Clients, it would be a shame not to use it. But in the other hand, being too much wide open for communication is not a good idea in times of crisis. ABA Banking Journal deals with some issues here.

” The objective of a bank blog may be to educate customers about financial topics, or provide the institution’s perspective on current events. Blogs could, however, morph into advertisements, intentionally or unintentionally. A blog-turned-advertisement is subject to all of the advertising compliance rules.”

Choosing the right ad agency

” Here are 13 tips and things to consider when picking an ad agency partner for your financial institution.”
“2. “Funny” Does Not Always Mean “Money”
Don’t fall in love with an ad agency just because they show you a bunch of funny spots. Just because a campaign is funny doesn’t mean it got any results. It’s always easier to make funny ads than ads that really work. An agency’s portfolio could be full of humor without ever having one piece that was on-strategy and achieved the intended results.”

Rescued dog stars in FAB&T kids marketing program

”This account had a huge dollar bill (named “Buck”) for a mascot. The idea was that every time a child made a deposit, they would receive some trinket — pencil, crayons, activity sheet, etc. The problem was that branches would run out of items to give to kids, or the kids would wind up receiving the same item over and over again. How many times can getting a pencil be fun, right?”
“They soon realized they had a new financial superhero to replace FAB&T’s “Buck.” They wanted a dog. After all, dogs personify many of the bank’s values: loyalty, compassion, trust.”
“When kids open an account, they receive a plush Cash dog and a card that is stamped at each subsequent deposit. After the appropriate number of deposits, their card can be redeemed for an item.”
“The hope is to create a ‘Happy Meal’ type of excitement,”

I like the idea of card stamped during every deposit. Kids love to collect such stuff, maybe they should’ve evolve the concept into more-like Pokemon style ;-). That’s a joke, but if you’re planning to deal with kids, it is always good to have a fluffy animal mascot around.

ING stacks your finances against peers

”A new, free web-tool from ING, INGCompareMe.com, uses peer data to let people see where they stand on a wide range financial matters including savings, spending, investing, debt and planning.”

It is always a good idea to give people an opportunity to compare themselves with other people anonymously. It is said, that people want to be special. I disagree, in terms of financial issues they do want to follow the crowd, they want to be average, as thanks to that they feel safe. This tool gives them an opportunity to do so.

The myths, facts and hardcore realities of social media marketing for financial institutions

What’s on TV? Ads for financial institutions
A collection of TV spots, I believe the ‘St. George Bank – “Lullaby”’ is the best one

”A huge crowd of St. George Bank employees gathers outside an average Australian man’s house as he retires for bed. They hum him a lullaby. The announcer explains, “At St. George, every single one of us is working to make sure that the things that keep you up at night no longer do.” The man sleeps blissfully.”

LEED gold branch for a true-green credit union

”To meet strict LEED standards, 75% of construction waste must be diverted from landfills. Builders must carefully separate scrap metal, wood and concrete for transport to certified recyclers in the nearby area. Construction sites must also be contained to protect drainage systems from soil runoff. Builders and subcontractors have to review material lists to ensure supplies contain the right percentage of post-consumer recycled content. For example, the recycled metals that makes up the siding on the Washougal branch may have come from recycled soda cans or automobiles.”

Green mania strikes again.

Yes Bank to identify you at the door

”The next time you visit a bank branch and the relationship manager addresses you by your name even before you could introduce yourself, do not be surprised. It’s not that the executive remembers your face; it’s the technology that transmits relevant customer information to relationship managers when a customer enters the branch.”
“The technology allows for personal identification of customers at the branch by inserting an RFID microchip into their debit cards.”
“…only two customers out of 100 enter a bank branch to buy…”

It’s been a part of a branch of the future concept for a long time, the only concern is how it and similar solutions will inflict into Clients privacy. What is their acceptance level? Client is not interested in a benefit for the bank, he always asks what are the benefits for him, so unless such privacy invading solutions will be properly supported by improvements in convenience/quality of services, I see a misty future for them.

More proof that PR overpowers financial ads

”The truth is that people are hyper-sensitive to news about financial institutions right now. They are tuned-in. Whereas they may have never noticed an ad from their financial institution(s) before, they now pay attention with keen interest. “What are they saying?” This applies to all media, marketing and communications channels — not just advertising.”

AIG Corporate Security’s Tips for Surviving an Angry Mob

I do especially like this one: ‘Avoid wearing any AIG apparel (bags, shirts, umbrella, etc.) with the company insignia

Series of articles about WaMu-Chase merger, not a positive tone, but notice new channels influence on communication:

Why Chase is killing WaMu’s retail concept (a very good concept by the way)
How the Chase/WaMu merger is playing out on Twitter
The post-WaMu blues: Chase has lost ‘that lovin’ feeling’

Articles worth reading: 1

Going Green to the Extreme!

“All of the materials used in the construction are either recycled or highly sustainable materials. The building also makes use of low-water use landscape plants and a gray-water system for irrigation.”
“All regular tellers serve both lobby and drive up members via live video feeds. The drive up is a stacked design to allow for faster service and less idling time.”
“Employees have formed a Green Team, which examines ways to make daily work at MFCU more efficient and environmentally responsible.”

The last one is especially interesting. It’s not important whether that initiative was their own, or they were strongly suggested to do so, the image counts – our employees care.
Missoula Federal Credit Union

Marketing makeovers for tough times

“…here are some highlights for marketing to young adults:
Anchorage: Consumers of all ages are looking for balance and security. This is in the same vein as the “nesting” that was so popular after 9/11. Here, however, Getty sees popular searches like “balance,” leading to images of yoga, spas and balancing rocks. “Fun,” the most popular search word five years ago, has given way to “dream,” still aspirational, but slightly more serious.
Guru Joe: Corporate execs are out; relatable experts are in. Getty sees a move toward personas and faces that are believable, empathetic and “quietly aspirational.” A parallel trend is in raw visuals—essentially well-framed snapshots that connote a company’s authenticity.
Women: Not just a target but a symbol. Fully 36% of advertising tearsheets surveyed featured single women, while only 5% featured single men. This could be further proof that both women and men enjoy seeing women, but guys don’t catch each others’ eyes. Getty says, “Women are coming to represent in a wider way ideas of collaboration and cooperation. The age of the single white male hero is taking a cultural time out.” That’s not good news for this white male, but I’ll roll with it.”

It’s always hard to get to the young people. Interesting point, with greater highlight putted on ‘dream’ than fun. More mature? Hardly, maybe more realistic. I do agree that financial institutions should use more of the so-called ‘independent’ experts and professionals to gain credibility.

Is Saving a Game of Chance? Nope.

”…Save to Win just launched at eight Michigan credit unions* in a pilot project testing consumer response to prize-linked savings.
“…credit union members compete for monthly and grand prizes by making deposits into one-year, federally-insured certificate accounts. At the end of the pilot, one fortunate credit union member will take home the $100,000 grand prize. Others will share in just under $40,000 in monthly cash prizes.”
“…account holders earn an entry with each $25 deposit, up to ten entries per month. One emergency withdrawal is allowed during the certificate’s term, but if the depositor closes the account, all entries disappear.”
“The state’s economy is even worse off than the rest of the country, increasing consumers’ need for savings.
“Save to Win aligns perfectly with the credit union mantra, people helping people, and this is what sets credit unions apart from other financial providers.
“For many consumers, the need to save gets short shrift when good intentions meet unexpected expenses.”
““Perhaps the lack of savings in America can be attributed to the fact that savings is simply not fun, and the motivation to save has been stripped away,” observes Denise Gabel, chief innovation officer at the Filene Research Institute. “What kinds of motivation are financial institutions providing to consumers?” Interest is posted in nickels and dimes, and consumers often don’t perceive tangible rewards from saving money.”
“Prized-link savings programs use the thrill of the chance to win a meaningful prize to encourage the development of regular savings habits and the accumulation of wealth, especially among lower-income households.”
““One of the biggest tests that remains to be seen about prize-linked savings – … – is whether it will inspire non-savers to start saving.””
“In researching prize-linked savings programs, he’s observed how the appeal of gambling can be channeled into a desire to accumulate savings. People often overestimate their chances in low-probability events, Dr. Tufano says, which explains why playing the lottery has become a popular, yet ineffective, investment strategy. In all probability, money spent on lottery tickets will be entirely lost. With Save to Win, funds remain intact, federally insured, and earning interest, even if the depositor fails to win a prize.

Banks are well familiar with promoting their products with a lottery system. It’s impossible to say in definitive matters whether it is good or bad solution. When properly designed, it can become beneficial, but it can be as well a waste of money. I’m a supporter of the solution based on fewer prizes, but of the greater value. Clients will not decide to choose us, only because we’ll give them a calendar, bag or an umbrella when making i.e. a deposit. What really matters is the opportunity to win the BIG prize.
I must agree that in terms of communication as stated above, Clients often don’t perceive interest as they should. That’s why a strategy of showing examples exists, like we’ll rather promote a deposit with yearly interest of 5% by i.e. ‘on every 10 000 deposited in our institution, you’ll earn 500’. There are ways to sell it in a more attractive way.

Virtual Finance and CU Island: In it for the long haul
I’ve also been once excited with the whole Second Life in finance industry deal, but examples which I’ve seen were having a rather minor success. Still, the virtual reality is a platform of communication with a great potential, but for now I believe it will evolve into interaction on the level of social networking websites.

10 Financial Commandments for Your 20s

Finally, financial literacy that’s effective AND fun

“The game is called Celebrity Calamity, and it gets through tricky subjects like universal default and introductory APRs, while forcing you, the manager of a budding ingenue’s finances, to make quick choices between buying what they want and keeping them out of debt.”
“The game needed to be effective and fun to overcome the perception that personal finance education can be difficult, scary, and boring. The preliminary results from experience and efficacy testing show:
50-70% improvement in financial knowledge
15-30% confidence increase in key areas”

I do like the concept, and its cartoonish style, but I’ve mixed feelings about the deep and quality of this education. Still, I prefer the way how traditional banks educate, i.e. with a partnership with schools. But yes, this can be boring ;-).Doorways to Dreams (D2D) Fund

Q&A: Youth marketing for financial institutions

“I don’t see anyone helping kids and teens deal with financial peer pressure. I think this should be a standard part of any financial literacy outreach program.”
“a fantastic documentary on HBO a few months ago called Kids + Money that illustrates the role money plays in the lives of young people. After I viewed it, all I could think about was the immense pressure kids and teens have to spend money on clothes and the next “cool thing.” In many instances, a teen will spend hundreds of dollars needlessly on things like purses and shoes, just so they won’t be ostracized at their school
“…if you offer a youth section on your website, don’t lump the kids club with the teen club. Teens don’t want to be associated with kids…”
“…companies trying too hard to be cool and cutting edge.”
” I constantly hear things like, “my mom opened my account,” or “my dad had an account at the bank, so I opened an account there.” Targeting parents must be at the forefront of any youth marketing initiative.”
“we never market financial products to kids under 13 years old. For kids under 13, it should be about education.”
“…hen dealing with the youth market: fun and humor. Although kids and teens love money, learning about financial concepts can be a bit dry. ”
“…kids retain more information when it’s delivered through storytelling.”

Quite a lot of interesting points out there, mostly ok. The idea of targeting parents in the youth initiatives is a real eye opener. It’s true, that in most cases, especially when we are not interest in the subject, are not researching by ourselves, we go for an advice to our close ones. Young people are financially dependant on their parents, so their opinion is crucial. That’s why the ‘family’ accounts should have a significant place in the bank offer.
I do not see how a financial institution could help kids to deal with the social pressure to be trendy. It’s not their job. The only thing they can do is to learn kids to manage their finances, but this will not eliminate the need to become a Paris Hilton lookalike. We can create a habit of saving, but other issues should be solved by the parents or school. Subcat Marketing

How Can Online Banking Develop its Own Black Card?

“But we continue to believe that financial institutions are missing a revenue opportunity to provide premium fee-based services to certain segments.”
“If American Express can command $2500 per year for its black Centurion Card and Barclays $495 per year (see note 1) for its slightly more pedestrian Black Card launched in December (see note 2), why can’t banks get $10/mo for a similar premium version of online and mobile banking? The short answer: They haven’t tried

It’s true, that online banking is immediately associated with the low profile services for the masses. One of the reasons is that when you’re having a traditional ‘marble’ bank, it is easy to segment Clients, separate affluent from the rest, make them feel special (leather couches, greater space, separate entries etc.). But when it comes to the basic online banking, we all are equal. Can a rich person browse faster the online banking service? I do not think so.
Online banking was and will be a way to reduce costs of service. Additionally on the early stage marketers chosen this channel to sell services to the price-aware Clients, so onlynie banking become a synonym of cheapness. You have to act carefully, as it is really easy to create an internal competition for your services. Selling premium services there is a challenges, as the Client got used that here he can got things cheaper than at branch, or for free. You may say, we can make him feel special by adding a bunch of additional features, or extend the traditional ones. This may work, but as well it may only confuse him. I’d love to read more on this subject.

Eye-tracking studies: more than meets the eye

“Our User Experience Research team has found that people evaluate the search results page so quickly that they make most of their decisions unconsciously. To help us get some insight into this split-second decision-making process, we use eye-tracking equipment in our usability labs. This lets us see how our study participants scan the search results page, and is the next best thing to actually being able to read their minds. Of course, eye-tracking does not really tell us what they are thinking, but it gives us a good idea of which parts of the page they are thinking about.”
“The heatmap below shows the activity of 34 usability study participants scanning a typical Google results page. The darker the pattern, the more time they spent looking at that part of the page.”

Such perception was created by the websites designs standards/trends. I just wonder if it applies only to the ‘Latin” world, or is it also true in countries like Israel where the right to left scripting method is used.

Bontrust: Increase In Currency, when your money multiply themselves with a pleasure

Bontrust: Increase In Currency
Uploaded by Habzapl

Bontrust Finance a German investment firm ordered this spot, and the hired agency had the following idea:

“…to show the increase of money on the international market in connection with some kind of sexual relation…”

Concept of a whole world made of banknotes is indeed great. Abraham Lincoln, The Unnamed Lady, and Mao look even better than the world around them. For me the ‘money love’ here means that our firm will use any occasion to multiply, to invest in the USA, or China – location does not matter, only the rate of return on such investment counts. That’s good, as this is their business, and that they achieve that with an image of a sort of a slut? It does not matter, as long as they earn.
Transition from a peaceful romantic period to a harsh sexual interaction is a real twist in the plot (poor EURO, even if it would like to participate, it does not have how…). For me it is not subtle enough, but again, we should remember on which market was it made. Ze Germans are not prudish, most of their jokes and humor rounds around these subjects, so I guess it will be well received on that market. Also, it will gain greater attention, than let’s say an apple tree with banknotes instead of fruits, and as stated above, for a company form such sector, this sort of an image is not a burden.
The making of, and concepts can be seen here.

Inspiration: COLORIBUS

FreeCreditReport.com: a naughty puppy becomes a nice credit score, does it keep up to the pirates legend?

Załadowane przez: Habzapl

New advert of the FreeCreditReport.com, a service which provides ‘real time’ information to its users about their credit reports/history. When you’re unable to do the math alone, with such information you should be able to manage your finances in a wiser way, do some planning, and stuff like that. If you’d ask me, a person with basic financial literacy level would be able to do most of that stuff by himself, but the topic of financial literacy, and role of the financial institutions in improving it is deep enough for some separate entries. I see here a large area to use, as in many markets (name Poland…) subject is almost untouched. Hopefully one day I’ll be able to implement some solutions related to it.
Returning to the spot. I’m not sure if you’re familiar with almost-the-best-spot-ever-made. Why almost? Well, it has pirates (SINGING!) in it, and the only thing which’s lacking here are the NINJAS. With them it could’ve been the best ever made ;-). If you don’t know what the hell I’m speaking about, please update your cultural references. A good soul’s putted all six singing spots of the FreeCreditReport.com on YouTube. Listen yourself.

Brilliant, isn’t it? It is always hard to be a successor of a successful campaign. The ‘doggy’ one does not even come close to its predecessor, but I believe it has a different role. When the sung commercials promote your brand, increase awareness, and basically tell what your business does, so it becomes familiar to the general public, it is impossible to present in them the ‘hard numbers’. So, with that in mind, and if we’ll treat it as a different category ad, it isn’t so bad. They’ve failed in creation of a likeable ‘fluffy’ puppy from the improved score numbers, but at least they’ve animated some life into it, and people do love it (for a perfect spot, the boy should have more time). Concept is ok, with the help of FCR the lady was able to control the spoiled puppy/credit report, and they’ve lived happily ever after. What lacks here is a clear image how the FCR and its website helped the lady. Maybe one-two shots with a laptop, or a manual how to deal with misbehaving puppies? Generally, ok.

Inspiration: COLORIBUS

The Date

The Date
Uploaded by Habzapl

Entry in English
Czternasty odcinek sezonu szóstego: “Three Valentines”. Niles przygotowuje się do walentynkowej randki obracając ją w piękną katastrofę Podobne przygody mają Frasier i Martin. Opis odcinka (eng).
Wszystkie odcinki do kupienia tutaj.

Fourteenth episode of the sixth season: “Three Valentines”. Niles is preparing himself for a Valentine’s Date, turning it into a beautiful catastrophe.
Here you can find episode summary, and here all episodes of this great sitcom can be bought.