The king is out. The product is back. That summarizes the new advertising campaign for Burger King. It gives other advertisers, including financial institutions, another lesson about what impresses consumers.
For what seemed much too long, recent Burger King advertising used a costumed king character with a freaky plastic mask that was more disturbing than any Jason-style movie character. The king popped up in unexpected places, including at dawn in people’s bedrooms. Apparently, many consumers besides me failed to get a positive reaction from the TV spots.
Finally, the tide has turned in the war over free checking.
Contrary to the hopes of the bailed-out mega-banks and a few lemming followers that their crass actions could bring about the demise of free checking, a growing number of community banks and credit unions are fighting back.
Needless to say I was giddy with delight upon encountering this full-page ad appearing in the current issue of sactown magazine – a recent addition to the local media scene in the greater Sacramento area.
Here are some of the things that I’ve been doing while I should have been blogging:
Take credit where credit is due!
Whenever I encounter a media story about some anonymous donor donating a huge sum of money to a school, charity, or hospital, one of the first things that comes to mind is the philosophical question, “If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?”
This question comes to my mind as I wonder why this person, or company, this “tree,” wouldn’t want to get credit for such a wonderful deed.
Last week, I wrote about two groups that pay attention to the good deeds (corporate halo) businesses do and how these deeds help influence where consumers take their business.
We encourage our clients to include a corporate halo story, especially on their prospecting mail pieces. You can also use posters, print ads, and other media.
You’re always looking for the best ways to spend your marketing dollars, so finding a technique that appeals to and attracts multiple consumer categories to your offer is a bonus.
According to a marketing survey conducted by a Boston consulting group, Gen Y members are more aware of cause marketing than other generations.
Let’s define what that means. Generation Y, or Millennials, were born between 1983 and 2001. They’re the youngest generation that has been labeled as a shorthand for media and marketing references.
Home delivery of mail isn’t going away!
I don’t know about you but I’m fed up with all the political posturing about the U.S. Postal Service. Hardly a day goes by that I don’t encounter yet another “doom and gloom” story in the main stream media about the coming demise of our beloved postal system which dates back to July 26, 1775, when the Second Continental Congress agreed that a Postmaster General be appointed for the United States.
Sure, the postal service needs restructuring to account for the decline in mail volume due largely to personal mail shifting to email and social media sites and a growing number of consumers embracing online statements and bill paying services.
For decades, during football season travelers driving east on I-80 into Omaha have seen a big billboard advertising Nebraska Blue Cross and Blue Shield. It was notable and attracted attention because the billboard carried the score of the University of Nebraska Huskers football game the same day it was played. Mimicking the numbers of a stadium scoreboard, the scores and the opponents appeared on the board until replaced by the next game.
This year, a print ad using the same idea as the billboard appears across the bottom of the local Sunday sports pages.
Last Thursday’s blog was about choice – how the growing number of marketing channels invokes the paradox of choice.
While sensing it intuitively for a number of years – especially when shopping for toothpaste – my first intellectual encounter with the paradox of choice occurred while reading Malcolm Gladwell’s 2005 book blink. In it he tells the exciting story about a shopping experiment conducted by Columbia University psychologist Sheena Iyengar.
While a graduate student in social psychology at California’s Stanford University in the mid-1990s, Sheena Iyengar loved shopping at Draeger’s Market, her favorite grocery store in nearby Menlo Park.
About 100,000 passengers on US Airways Shuttle flights were treated to a free lunch thanks to an innovative advertising idea. It’s the kind of idea that gets noticed and doesn’t make consumers feel it’s an intrusion.
Snack boxes, with printed advertising messages, were distributed for a few weeks during the summer on shuttle flights between Boston, New York, and Washington. These routes were chosen because many passengers were high-income business professionals, who are the advertiser’s target audience. (Sounds like direct marketing’s targeted list selection.)
If you’ve Googled “Checking Accounts” in the past 6 months—and being in banking you probably have—you may have noticed the top slot on the results page is now taken by Google themselves. Google calls it a Comparison ad. Click and you will find yourself on Google Advisor.
Most of us are familiar with the old cliché: “The more, the merrier.”
While it may apply to people at a party, it doesn’t necessarily apply to marketing channels.
I have a burning question today for marketing people working for banks and credit unions – How do you decide which of the growing number of marketing channels to use and what criteria do you employ for selecting them?
As you may, or may not, know, the proliferation of marketing channels greatly increases the likelihood that you’ll become a victim of the paradox of choice.
An AdWeek article says ING Direct, the online bank, has a promotion that tempts teenagers with cash, MacBooks and iPods.
These items are called offers.
I don’t mean to sound like I’m talking down to you. Many readers understand the value and importance of an offer when they prepare a promotion. I’ve met other financial services marketers who either don’t understand or don’t care.
If you don’t understand, don’t worry. I’ll explain it. If you don’t care, you’re making a big mistake.
Human behavior tells us that when something we need and use becomes scarce, we tend to want more of it. It’s known as the scarcity principle.
And right now, you can put this principle to work for your bank or credit union.
As bank marketers you should be rejoicing that you’ve been handed a rare opportunity to grow checking account market share. A big thank you goes to the four irrational mega-banks and a few followers that have not only dropped free checking from their product menu but helped create an avalanche of “free checking is dead” articles in the media.
What’s FREE isn’t named FREE and what isn’t necessarily FREE is labeled FREE.
Sometimes when I encounter bank and credit union ads in the local newspaper I swear I’ve entered some parallel universe where things aren’t always what they appear to be and where inconsistency reigns.
Such is the case with the ad appearing in today’s issue of The Sacramento Bee.
The third annual nationwide Protect Your Identity Week is scheduled for October 17 to 23. You still have time to organize events or activities in your community.
When you make people aware of the problems and solutions, it helps them, and the accounts they have with your financial institution become safer.
Why devote a week to awareness of identity protection? These 2010 statistics make the point… Read more…
Every so often a major social, business, or economic movement occurs which seems to defy all logic. Generally, it starts small but for some reason quickly gains popularity to the point where everyone has jumped on the bandwagon for fear of being left behind. I refer to this sort of mindless behavior as the “lemming” mentality.
Recent excellent examples include the tech bubble in the last half of the 1990s and the massive housing bubble in the first half of the last decade. In both instances, millions of people began believing something that simply wasn’t true.
What’s the most important word in advertising?
Years ago, I had a typed list tacked on the bulletin board in my office. I found the list in a magazine, but it was compiled by a research study at Yale University. It showed the 12 most persuasive words in the English language, and since I’m a marketing copywriter you can understand why I had the list where I could see it every day.
I don’t have that slip of paper anymore, but I have the list of persuasive words in a computer document with other ancient notes.
Every so often one of your major competitors hands you a golden marketing opportunity on a sterling silver platter.
Are you taking advantage of it?
Unfortunately, most community banks and credit unions sit back and do nothing when such a rare opportunity presents itself. There are several reasons for inaction which will be listed below.
The golden marketing opportunity is the ability to quickly acquire a large number of new checking account customers using a little-known marketing strategy – a disruptor marketing campaign.
When you’re reading this, it’s likely not Monday, September 5, because that’s the Labor Day holiday when your financial institution is closed.
Labor Day Commemorative issued September 3, 1956
Labor Day became an official U.S. holiday in 1894, when the U.S. Congress unanimously passed the legislation and President Grover Cleveland signed it. The legislation was rushed through the system to appease the labor movement after a strike where workers died.