Guerilla Marketing Promotes Free ATM’s
The signs were everywhere: billboards, newspapers, even posters on the subway. To promote its new “no ATM fees at any bank anywhere” policy, TD Banknorth kicked off a multi-tiered campaign. The bank launched its “Bank Freely” campaign — featuring a No ATM Fees Visa debit card — that spread through Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
TD Banknorth ads in popular magazines and TV spots helped snag consumers’ attention. But the campaign's guerilla marketing had the strongest effect. Bank reps, called “free agents,” cruised around in customized Honda Elements that looked just like the No ATM Fees card, handing out branded coffee and popcorn cup holders, mock-up newspapers, bottled water, and door hangers. “We gave out water at a baseball game and ice cream on a hot day,” says Thomas Dyck, director of marketing for TD Banknorth. “It was all about giving something free to the customer.”
The popcorn cup holders stole the spotlight at movie theaters, and morning travelers who stopped by their local cafes got their daily dose of caffeine and TD Banknorth advertising. Stickers that read, “With the money you save from no ATM fees, you can get more of these” decorated all the products. “Guerilla marketing gives you the opportunity to actually engage in a dialogue with customers,” says Dyck. “Customers could ask our ‘free agents’ questions about the no ATM fees offer and get answers immediately.”
“The goal for the entire campaign is to take a year to interact with customers firsthand and to learn what else they might want in a bank,” says Dyck. The buzz surrounding communities who use TD Banknorth appears to have already pushed the campaign in the right direction.
Clean Air Advocates Raise Awareness
The St. Louis Regional Clean Air Partnership was formed in 1995 to raise awareness of air-quality issues and to encourage people in the area to help reduce air pollution. Each summer - typically the worst season for air quality - the Partnership issues forecast alerts via e-mail. This year, for the first time, the group offered a promotional giveaway to drum up interest: an insulated lunch bag filled with imprinted goodies.
“We sent out a press release to the media letting people know that if they went to the Web site, which is www.cleanair-stlouis.com, there's a link where they can sign up to get the daily air-quality forecast sent to them via e-mail,” says Shelene Treptow of The Hauser Group, the PR firm for the campaign. “For those who signed up, we would send them a free lunchbox stuffed with a variety of different clean-air-oriented materials.” Treptow adds that the lunch bag was chosen for a good reason:“The Clean Air Partnership urges people to brownbag lunch as opposed to driving during their lunch hour to cut back on emissions. So the lunchbox keys off of that kind of clean-air tip they like to stress.”
The bag is imprinted with a clean-air message and filled with brochures and several promotional products: a stadium cup, pencils, a pen and a notepad, all imprinted with either the Partnership logo or that of the American Lung Association. The press release went out to the local media in July, about halfway through the forecasting season but at the start of the worst air-quality days. “When it hit in the paper,” Treptow says, “we were inundated with calls and e-mails about it. I don't think we anticipated doing all that many, but it went really well.”