Guerilla Marketing Promotes Free ATM’s

  • Oct 10, 2006

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.”

Free ATM car promo

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.

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