Our Top 4 Experiential Campaigns in Financial Services

Brittany Thomas, Senior Producer – Shop Marketing & Creative Group

The Financial Services industry is a more traditional, more conservative industry and it’s often seen as boring and lacking in the innovation department. When people think financial services, they often think of a bunch of old, white haired men in suits more interested in counting the fees they’re making than hearing new ideas or techniques to better engage their customers. We’ve been excited to see this shifting with the rise of fintech startups and the resulting disruption as both startups and more traditional institutions focus on putting customer experience first. Here are some of the top marketing campaigns we’ve seen come out of the financial services industry over the last few years:

American Express | Small Business Saturday

In 2010, American Express was looking for a way to better connect with “mom and pop” shops, help these small businesses boost sales in a struggling economy, and increase consumer engagement with local, unique businesses. To do so, AmEx created the epic “Small Business Saturday” movement. In short, it declared the Saturday after Thanksgiving “Small Business Saturday” and provided small businesses across the country with the resources needed to promote the day to consumers. After hearing about the initiative, many other larger companies joined in to support the campaign with free services for small businesses.

In 2016, AmEx expanded the experiential aspect of their campaign by working with Shaquille O’Neal, Kendrick Lamar, and the NBA. They created funny videos of Shaq and Kendrick shopping local for soap and hosted fan experiences at NBA arenas in six cities around the U.S. to further promote shopping local. The results of the campaign not only increased sales for small businesses, but increased consumer engagement and made an impact on local communities.

FirstBank | Free Happens!

We’re excited to feature a fellow Colorado-based business on this list (they also have a reputation for being very engaged in the community and executing unique marketing campaigns). To promote their free checking account services to consumers and build stronger relationships with their brand, FirstBank created a campaign based around the concept of “free”. They created ad spots and engaged with consumers by offering unexpected free services and food. For example, they worked with a local pizzeria to give away surprise free pizzas in a branded FirstBank box, free food at local food trucks with messaging like: “there is such a thing as a free lunch”, and free pedicab rides to people heading to and from the Colorado Rockies game in Downtown Denver. This provided an exciting experience because people weren’t expecting the free benefits – they were surprises courtesy of FirstBank. We’re not sure about you, but we’d love to get a free pizza right now. (Hint, hint FirstBank).

Ally Bank | Lucky Penny Campaign

To engage consumers with their brand and encourage them to remember that every cent counts (aka save money, people!), Ally created the Lucky Penny Campaign. To create an exciting experience for consumers, Ally hid 100 Ally branded “pennies” (worth $1000/each when exchanged for prize money) in 10 cities throughout the U.S. The Ally pennies were a little larger than regular pennies, displayed an Ally logo on the front, and the number 100,000 on the back of the penny to demonstrate how many cents a winning penny was worth. If a consumer found a lucky Ally penny, they could redeem it online with a redemption code featured on the back of the penny. To get consumers excited about the lucky penny campaign, Ally used social media to provide clues on where pennies were hidden, and encouraged conversation around the campaign with hashtags. We only wish every dirty penny we found on the street was worth $1,000!

PayPal |Meet the Speaker, Mobile Office Hours

To get attention from potential business customers at the Le Web conference in Paris, PayPal partnered with Uber to give attendees an experience they wouldn’t forget. PayPal’s “Meet the Speakers, Mobile Office Hours” campaign offered conference attendees an opportunity to take an Uber ride with key speakers at the Le Web conference. The rides lasted up to 30 minutes and gave people an opportunity to connect with speakers, ask questions, and even pitch ideas. The “office hours” were saved on video, and riders had the opportunity to win additional prizes by sharing their experience via social media.

Paypal acquired 50,000+ new consumer app users, drove $5M in TPV and had over 2 million Facebook impressions. What a cool collaboration and way to get some face time with hard-to-reach execs!