15 of the Best Guerilla Promotions in Banking

Eastern Florida Financial Credit Union – Barf bag

This clever mailer invites people to “bring unused bags to one of our conveniently located branches to get $425 with these valuable coupons.”

County Bank – Biscuits for Breakfast

This clever campaign, targeting businesses in the bank’s area, offers new business customers a free biscuit breakfast for up to 13 people — delivered right to your doorstep — as long as you’re willing to meet with a Countybank representative.

Small businesses could hit the microsite and pick their fixin’s.

Prospera – Frozen direct mail

Prospera mailed nearly 4,500 packages to a pre-qualified list culled from the credit union’s 60,000 members. Each recipient received a follow-up phone call from Prospera. The message: ““Paying taxes is a big headache. That’s why we’re freezing them for 10 years.

The O Bee Amazing Money Maze

The credit union’s name, “O BEE,” is the centerpiece of a massive, 6-acre maze made from corn plants. They call it “The Amazing Money Maze.”

There are two small bridges running from left to right in the center of the maze.

Young & Free’s “Guitar Hero” Cage Duel Truck

Two Guitar Hero players are pitted against one another in a truck that’s one-part cage-fighting arena, one part human fishtank. Currency Marketing came up with the idea while planning TDECU’s rollout of “Young & Free,” a popular Gen-Y “challenge marketing” program for credit union in the U.S. and Canada.

Two college students — both majoring in Guitar Hero — face off inside a mobile Gen-Y “Thunderdome.”

BofA – “Now Prove It”

BofA, an official NFL partner, kicked off the 2008 season with its “Now Prove It Challenge” contests at various stadiums around the league. Fans competed in endurance contests to see who could outlast the others by continuously touching a giant 20-foot inflatable BofA jersey. The last fan standing won a pair of tickets to every 2008 regular season home game of their favorite team.

How long would you touch a giant inflatable jersey to win season tickets?

Coast Capital – Super huge “thanks-for-nothing” card

Coast Capital Savings invited people in British Columbia to add their signatures and messages to an 8′x10′ cheeky “thank you” card “congratulating” big banks for the $3 billion in fees that they charge Canadians annually. They obtained people’s signatures by trotting the card out to public spaces.

An 8′ x 10′ card signed by hundreds of people really makes a statement.

TD Bank – “Random Acts of Convenience”

In TD’s “Random Acts of Convenience” initiative, the bank gave away free umbrellas, cups of coffee, premium shopping bags and gift wrapping during the holidays. They delivered pizzas and did people’s laundry, also for free. One lucky winner could choose a free personal chef, chauffeur or house cleaner for a year. The bank regularly gives away suckers and dog treats.

Mmm, yummy…free pizza, wrapped and delivered in a TD-branded box.

AltaOne FCU – “Good Deeds”

In the weeks leading up the to the grand opening of a branch, the credit union sent out a street team to conduct random acts of kindness such as paying a family’s dinner bill, or surprising a local fire department with a free lunch. The hitch? No one knew AltaOne was behind all the good deeds until the night of the grand opening.

Mrs: “Honey, who were those nice kids?” Mr: “I dunno, but they just bought us lunch!”

First Ontario – Outdoor visual metaphors

FirstOntario Credit Union recently launched a classic guerilla marketing campaign to reinforce a message of safety and strength. FirstOntario placed everyday items — such as bikes, park benches, fire hydrants and bubble wrap — in unexpected ways around key communities to drive home the message that the credit union’s short-term investments are “Extra safe.”

Four redundant fire hydrants reinforce the message: “FirstOntario has guaranteed returns.”

Sydney Credit Union – “More Generous Banking”

SCU and rolled out a new brand theme, “More Generous Banking,” by sending out street teams across Sydney to conduct “Random Acts Of Generosity,” including giving out free coffees, free massages and — no joke — free hugs.

Street teams giving out rubs and hugs directed people to the credit union’s new website.

Industrial Credit Union ATM spews random $50s

During the 2008 holiday season, the credit union randomly swapped $50 bills for $20s in an ATM at a new branch location.

This direct mail piece went to over 5,000 households near the new branch. It unfolds like a gift.

Servus Credit Union – “The Feel Good Ripple”

The Canadian credit union invited people to share their “feel-good deeds” on a specially built Servus microsite (shown below). For each story someone shared, they were entered to win one of ten $500 donations.

“Do something nice, then pay it forward.” The concept speaks to people’s inner hippie.

FirstBank – Small Businesss’ Business Cards

The bank managed to squeeze 500 business cards from its small business customers’ into displays inside a transit terminal.

You know some people looked at the display and thought, “Hey, I need someone to _____.”

FirstBank – Billboards for small businesses

To show even more support for small businesses, FirstBank ran giant billboards advertising the services of its small business banking customers — folks like piano teachers and wedding singers.

You can dial the phone numbers, but they go to a recording.

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