(Rocky Hill, Conn. – March 2012) – How do you revitalize a previous advertising campaign in a way that engages audiences and incents them to take action? More so, how do you get current and potential customers of a community bank excited about opening a checking account?
These were the questions The Pita Group, a full-service integrated marketing and branding agency in Connecticut, had to answer in developing a refreshed advertising and marketing campaign around its client Union Savings Bank’s already established 1-2-3 Checking product line. The answer lay in the 1-2-3 Checking Challenge, a new online game that awarded prizes redeemable when the player opened a new 1-2-3 Checking account.
Between the game launch on October 11 and the campaign close on December 31, more than 2,200 players spent an average of 5.5 minutes each playing the game (increasing the average time spent on the bank’s website by 400 percent). Also during this time period, 1,267 people opened new 1-2-3 Checking accounts totaling $6.5 million.
“We believe the game was successful for a few reasons. First, it did more than promote the 1-2-3 Checking brand; it had a clear purpose and benefit,” said Paul Pita, CEO and executive creative director of The Pita Group. “It was also well suited to the bank’s goal of expanding its reach to younger audiences. Gaming has become hugely popular among Millennials, because it allows them to interact with a brand – which they expect to do in this digital age – and to connect with others around a shared experience.”
“Using technology to improve the way we provide customer service is a key focus for the bank right now,” said Union Savings Bank President and CEO Jay Lent. “This game was a fun progressive step, connecting prospective customers – and reconnecting current customers – to our brand in a way that is memorable and unique in our industry. We are thrilled that so many people enjoyed the game and converted to 1-2-3 Checking customers.”
The game, accessed through the “Personal Banking/Checking” section of unionsavings.com, challenged visitors to arrange rows of numbered circles so that the rows read 1, 2, 3 in sequential order. Players had one minute to arrange as many rows as possible, using their mouse. If they lined up a minimum of three rows, they won a $30, $60 or $100 voucher, which could be deposited into a new 1-2-3 Checking account. Registered players were also entered into a monthly drawing to win one of three grand prizes: an Apple iPad 2, a $500 cash prize or a $500 travel voucher.
“This game delivered numerous benefits to the bank,” said Marie O’ Neill, executive vice president, chief marketing officer at Union Savings Bank. “In addition to increasing our customer base and balances, we were able to reach new audiences via social media, build our email marketing database and re-energize our sales team by providing a new sales challenge.”
Television, radio, print, online and out-of-home advertising as well as direct mail, in-branch signage and buttons worn by Union Savings Bank employees helped promote the game. Game players also steered friends and family to the game via Facebook “like” and Twitter share buttons. A Facebook share button allowed players to post their game scores to their walls and challenge friends to beat their score.
Bank employees also got in on the game, participating in an internal sales contest among the branches and winning awards for surpassing their sales goals by the highest percentage, opening the most accounts and making the most referrals.
Because of its success, Union Savings Bank has continued the game, now found on both its website and Facebook page, into 2012. Currently, players can win $30 to be deposited into their new 1-2-3 Checking account when they line up a minimum of three rows. Later this year, the bank plans to enhance the game and offer grand prizes more frequently.