The Situation: Recent economic crisis has turned banks into highly unpopular institutions.
The Goal: Promote a new, flexible home loan targeting younger professionals in need of their own homes, or homes for their new families.
The Solution: Avoid negative perceptions by using fun and unusual communications.
The Singer: A viral online video campaign built on creative, offline guerilla tactics.
One day in late fall 2010, an average-looking man named Božidar Perićić started randomly belting out songs around Zagreb, in Croatia. The source of his joyous outbursts? He was thrilled to be the owner of a new apartment.
The public suddenly became engrossed with the mystery singing man, unaware that one of the largest banks in Central and Eastern Europe was behind the gambit. Thousands of viewers shared the videos with friends, and commented on which was their favorite. A Facebook group “I’m Not a Talent, But I Can Throw a Show!” was also formed to help distribute videos. The local press even ran interviews with The Singer.
For a full month, The Singer did nothing but post his video ballads, 14 in all. In one he sings to a policeman that pulls him over. The policeman isn’t impressed, and subjects the bubbly singer to a sobriety test. In another he sings to a tram operator. Next a tow truck driver. Then he tries to use his penchant for song to crash an upscale party.
One of Raiffeisen Bank’s viral videos where The Singer shows us how he uses his power of song to break a glass window.
14,000 Facebook fans and 320,000 video views later (that’s 10% of the Coation market), Raiffeisen finally ran a TV spot revealing that they were the ones responsible. In the ensuing weeks, they aired an entire series of commercials starring The Singer, tying it all together with the line, “Flexi-Housing Loans, in tune with your needs.”
According to Raiffeisen, “Singing has been scientifically proven to release stress and anxiety, enhance happiness and general wellbeing, all of which made an excellent metaphor for new, flexible housing loans.”
This is the TV ad divulging Raiffeisen as the bank behind The Singer and his video ballads. The song translated from Croation: “This is the story about the day / When everything started moving my way / When I started singing at my new home, hooray! / I have an apartment / (chorus) He has an apartment / I have a home / (chorus) He has his own home / I can walk naked around / My butt bare, totally unbound / I can hang wallpapers / Eat paté and peppers / I can entertain guests / I can swear and protest / I can snore at night / I can do whatever I like.”