ING DIRECT Canada isn’t like a typical bank. For one thing, they have no branches – because their customers do everything by Internet or phone. Since entering the Canadian market 15 years ago, ING DIRECT has evolved from being a savings-centric bank to offering products such as their new THRiVE Chequing Account.
Since launching the ING DIRECT Canada Superstar Saver channel on YouTube in November 2007, they’ve used everything from an online video contest to a surprise synchronized swimming team performance in a public fountain to turn viewers into fans, and fans into new customers.
Last week, I presented the ING DIRECT Canada case study during thesession on Developing a Video Optimization & Marketing Campaign at SES Toronto 2012. Since it contains a number of business video marketing tips, trends and best practices that can cross the border, I figured that it’s worth sharing with you, too.
ING DIRECT has always been at the forefront of innovation, which is an essential part of their brand strategy. To stay ahead of the pack, they offer products and services that excite customers, and their marketing is no different. Back in 2007, ING DIRECT Canada wanted to do something fun and cutting edge to remind Canadians of the brand that helps them save money.
With the upcoming launch of several products, ING DIRECT Canada approached Google and asked for help in launching these new offers.
Google delivered an integrated marketing campaign centered on a Brand Channel Contest, launching in tandem with YouTube Canada. Aligning with the launch of YouTube Canada was the perfect fit for the ING DIRECT brand. And so was the Canadian Superstar Saver Search contest.
The contest asked Canadians to create videos that captured the great lengths they go to when it comes to saving their money. Two $10,000 grand prizes were offered, one each for the best original English and French videos.
Traffic to the channel was primarily generated by advertising across YouTube.ca and YouTube.com (IP targeted to Canadians). The media plan included a series of YouTube homepage takeovers and was complemented by targeted display advertising across the Google AdSense Network (including French Canada, social networking and other video sites) and a Google Search campaign.
ING DIRECT Canada also promoted the contest to their existing client base through an email newsletter and a bilingual contest microsite linked to ingdirect.ca.
The ING DIRECT Canadian Superstar Saver Search contest was a huge success, both in the eyes of ING DIRECT Canada and their clients.
Over 200 video entries were submitted – a volume on par with many US contests and an indication that Canadians were embracing the online video space faster than Americans. The quality of the entries, their enthusiasm for the ING DIRECT brand and the proportion coming from French Canada was impressive. The contest attracted an audience of over 460,000 views and 38,000 unique visitors. Over 6,000 votes were cast to choose the winning videos.
The winning English video was Save Your Money!
The winning French video was Sauvez A Bout de Souffle!
In addition to YouTube viewing and engagement metrics, Google and ING DIRECT Canada commissioned a Dynamic Logic study to understand how the audience felt about the ING DIRECT brand after visiting the contest and seeing the ads.
The study found 9% uplift for “constantly trying to do things better” and a female uplift of 18%. The study also found a 7% uplift for “standing out as quite different to other banks” and a female uplift of 20%.
Interestingly, French Canadians were statistically more likely to agree that ING DIRECT was an innovative bank constantly trying to do things better, and that the Canadian Superstar Saver Search contest on YouTube was the right contest for ING DIRECT to sponsor.
As a result of the brand channel contest, ING DIRECT Canada enjoyed 14% uplift in consideration intent for those living in households with annual incomes of more than $40,000.
In addition to effectively reminding Canadians that ING DIRECT is an innovative, consumer-centric brand, ING DIRECT also benefited from new mortgage, mutual fund and savings accounts being opened thanks to the Superstar Saver contest!
In other words, ING DIRECT Canada could take the results to the bank.
In August 2010, ING DIRECT Canada announced the launch of THRiVE Chequing, an online, no-fee daily chequing account that enabled Canadians to deposit, withdraw or transfer money for free, all while earning interest. That month, they also uploaded “ING DIRECT Canada Makes a Splash.”
Normally, the launch of a new checking account in the US isn’t going to make a big splash. But, Americans haven’t thought of using a surprise synchronized swimming team performance in a public fountain, have we? That’s another lesson we can learn from watching ING DIRECT Canada’s THRiVE Chequing Synchro Team perform in Toronto’s Berczy Park. The stunt was the brainchild of Julie Stolberg, Associate Creative Director at Dashboard, and the bank, of course.
Over 100,000 site visits were recorded at launch, and pilot registration goals were exceeded. In addition, the THRiVE launch was awarded an Interactive Applied Arts award and national press coverage.
And if you click on the Show video statistics icon under the video, you’ll see “ING DIRECT Canada Makes a Splash” has been embedded on Facebook and several blogs. Now, when was the last time you saw a video announcing a new checking account embedded in social media? No, a video embedded in a spam blog (or splog) doesn’t count.
On April 24, 2012, ING DIRECT Canada announced that it was evolving its brand to reflect its emergence as an everyday bank. The bank’s previous tagline “save your money”, which Canadians have identified with the bank since it entered the market in 1997, was replaced by “forward banking.”
ING DIRECT Canada’s ad agency, john st., spearheaded the overall strategy of the new brand idea and creative. ING DIRECT Canada introduced the new brand to Canadians through a 60-second national television spot, called “Old Ways”, which aired from April 25 to May 1. This commercial ran in various prime time spots in English and French on both network (CBC, CTV, Global, TVA) and specialty channels (HGTV, History, TSN, Slice, Showcase, RDS, Series+, Canal D). And it was uploaded to the ING DIRECT Canada Superstar Saver channel on YouTube.
A separate 30-second national TV spot, titled “Coal”, ran for six weeks beginning on April 30. It was also uploaded to the Superstar Saver channel.
Additionally, ING DIRECT Canada dominated all Postmedia newspapers and websites on May 1 with its new brand creative.
ING DIRECT Canada worked with Initiative Media to plan the media buy for the TV spots, out-of-home advertising, Postmedia domination and digital while Dashboard led the new brand work on all digital and online components, such as website assets and banner ads. AmoebaCorp developed the design identity and visual language for the new platform.
So, what’s the net-net of the ING DIRECT Canada case study? During the past four-and-a-half years, ING DIRECT Canada has grown from over 1.6 million customers and more than $24 billion in total assets to over 1.8 million clients and close to $40 billion in total assets today.
Now, IND DIRECT Canada did a lot more than launch a YouTube channel to generate this growth. But their Superstar Saver channel did a number of things right that turned viewers into fans, and fans into new customers. And even on this side of the border, you can take these business video marketing tips, trends and best practices to the bank.