Fifth Third launches its biggest ad campaign ever

Fifth Third’s “Unlock Your Dreams” campaign, which started yesterday, centers on a scratchcard and a $250,000 sweepstakes. Anyone can enter by stopping at a branch to pick up their game piece, or you also can request game pieces by mail (as is legally required, but who does that?).

In addition to the $250,000 grand prize, the bank is giving away 22 first prizes of $10,000 — one in each of the bank’s regions.

The scratch-off the game pieces reveal one of the following “instant prizes,” most of them contingent on acquiring a new Fifth Third product:

+ One of 42,500 MasterCard gift cards worth $10
+ $50 in a new “Goal Setter” savings account
+ $50 off loan closing costs
+ $50 off mortgage loan app fee
+ 5,000 Bonus Rewards Points with a new Visa credit card
+ 5,300 Bonus Rewards Points with a new home equity line

The value of the campaign’s prizes, including cash and discounts, totals $895,000.

The scratchcards also include a special “code.” To win either of the cash prizes, you have to go to a special microsite for the campaign at and type in your “code.” But that’s not all you have to type in.

In order to complete your entry at the microsite, you have to give up a lot of personal information — including your name, email, phone number, mailing address and DOB — so the campaign will definitely be a success from an MCIF perspective. Entrants even tell the bank what kind of financial products they might be interested in by checking a lifestyle option like “getting married” or “retiring.”

The magic of the “code”

From a marketing perspective, the “code” is just a ruse to make the scratchcard more exciting. It gives people the impression that their “code” may “be the one” and they “may already be a winner,” giving them more incentive to visit the microsite and surrender their MCIF profile. In reality, the cash prizes will be given away in a conventional drawing, so the “code’s” only real purpose is to validate entries, thereby preventing contestaholics from repeatedly entering. (Fifth Third is limiting the number of entries each person can have at 20.)

Key Takeaway: Scratchcards tickle people’s gambling nerve center — a juicy marketing tactic.

Bottom Line: This well thought-out and fairly straightforward promo should yield an immediate return in the form of new accounts and new relationships. If they maximize their MCIF opportunities, there should be additional ROI streaming in for months to come.

The contest complements Fifth Third’s slogan, “The things we do for dreams,” which the bank launched back in February.

“This year, our ads have touched on dreams of all shapes and sizes, and have celebrated the steps and sacrifices individuals make today to realize their dreams for tomorrow,” said Terry Zink, EVP/Retail for Fifth Third in a press release.

With $115 billion in assets and 1,300 branch locations, Fifth Third is one of the top 20 banks in the U.S. based on assets.

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