ANZ Bank Connects with Students on Their Own Terms

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Reviewed and written by Jeff Stephens, CEO of Creative Brand Communications

“The campaign doesn’t presume students want to engage with their bank.”
— Rapp for ANZ

ANZ Bank New Zealand youth campaign GettingUThru should serve as one model financial institutions should consider when looking for ways to effectively target students and young adults. The campaign includes social media components and centers around a comprehensive microsite, GettingUThru.com. The site has five feature sections, including:

  • Student Package – No-fee transaction account, a credit card with a $500 limit, 3 months free mobile banking, and (of course) free internet and phone banking.
  • Survival Tips – Tips for those on a tight budget, submitted by students.
  • Budgeting Calculator – A very creative, unusual, yet simple approach using a figurative money meter.
  • Job Search – In partnership with a third-party. You’ll end up at the Student Job Search website if you conduct a query.
  • Student Deals – Supposedly where students can find deals from other companies, although there’s only a handful.

The bank was very particular about avoiding cash bribes as part of the campaign. While account-opening incentives may convince students to initially sign up, they aren’t good tools for building long-term customer relationships. Instead, ANZ opted for an approach that centered around their audience’s needs. Fully recognizing that students don’t care about banking, ANZ instead focused on the single financial matter students do care about: having no money. Thus, a microsite was born that provides budgeting tools, money-saving ideas and peer-to-peer advice.

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Interactive budgeting “meter” (above center), budgeting “survival tips” (lower left), and a rhetorical “survey” (lower right).

GettingUThru is very youth-oriented without trying too hard to be cool. The campaign addresses students’ greatest need – not going broke – with humorous advice like, “Brew your own beer.” The short video clips on the microsite are hilarious, and look like they were filmed by real students (agency Rapp New Zealand is actually behind all the fun). Content is partially user-submitted, facilitating interaction between the bank and its customers.

Wayne Pick of Rapp says, “Instead of a bank doing all the talking and advising, students began to talk to the bank and dishing out advice of their own. And after that, without any incentives, record numbers went on and opened accounts.”

The campaign has been successful. According to ANZ, “In just one month, over 10,000 students flooded online, over 7,000 students had opened accounts — that’s a 10% increase year-on-year.” GettingUThru also won a Bronze Lion at the Cannes International Advertising Festival this summer.

Looking to emulate ANZ’s success? Remember that offering relevant products, building rapport, fostering two-way communication and remaining genuine are key.
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jeff-stephensAbout the author: Jeff Stephens is founder and CEO of Creative Brand Communications (CBC), a full-service bank and credit union branding and marketing agency. CBC helps financial institutions find their story, tell it, and most importantly, prove it.

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This article was originally published on November 11, 2009. All content © 2018 by The Financial Brand and may not be reproduced by any means without permission.

Comments

  1. The best part of this campaign is that it’s not a broad Generation Y effort – it’s more focused, specifically designed for students. I wish we’d see more institutions pursue more specific segments of the market like this.

  2. Jeff Stephens says:

    I agree, Brady. I think all of the focus on “Gen Y” over the last few years in the banking industry has been a mixed blessing. On one hand it’s been great because it has opened up many bankers’ eyes to the need to get younger members, and has made them open to some new ideas and new media. On the other hand, it’s become kind of a bandwagon topic that has almost oversimplified the problem in some ways–leading to many FI’s assuming all Gen Y folks are similar and that you can talk to them as one big group.

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