If loving their bank is wrong, Fifth Third Bank customers don’t want to be right. And I don’t blame them: I’m fawning a little bit, as well. Using the #BankLove hashtag, Fifth Third Bank surprised some its customers recently by turning their positive feedback into songs and sharing them via video on Facebook and Twitter.
At present, there are six videos. Here’s one inspired by a Fifth Third Bank customer’s Facebook post that calls the bank “the absolute best.” It’s called “The Absolute Best Blues,” and like the other videos, it’s improvised by Chicago duo Michael McCracken and Bobby Richards:
The video, which currently has 26K views on Facebook, is the newest in the series, and Facebook views for the previous five videos total over 1 million. They riff off customer service feedback like “I’m so beyond grateful for the service I received from one of your agents yesterday” and “[Customer Service Agent] Leslie went above and beyond to reassure me what was going on with my accounts.”
Here’s my personal favorite, a ukele tune about the mobile pay app, which customer @Ohio_Wolf says is “working great.” Fifth Third Bank responds with a tune that includes the line, “We never take your business for granted, so spread the #BankLove.”
The campaign, created by Leo Burnett Chicago, delighted the bank’s customers, elevated the conversation about customer service and raised the bar for social media engagement. As the marketing agency says in the work section of its website, “A bank can say that they care about their customer, but in this case, we wanted to prove it by using the words of real people. The culture at Fifth Third is very consumer-centric, and we wanted to bring that philosophy to life in a fun, creative way.” In that regard, the campaign is already a success: customers have been delighted.
Built into the campaign’s “delight factor” is the sense of humor it has about itself. It doesn’t take this “promotion” too seriously, and in doing so, it projects authenticity and humanness, which is incredibly important when branding a financial institution.
A large part of the effort to be authentic and human manifests in how the customer relationship is perceived, and Fifth Third’s #BankLove campaign has that covered, as well. Banks must not only collect customer feedback, but they must put a spotlight on activities that put that feedback to work. When this happens via social media, brands have the chance to demonstrate “social proof,” a kind of credibility akin to the slang term “street cred.” Leo Burnett Chicago quotes the bank’s VP and senior digital marketing manager, Shannon Paul:
“The value is in letting people know that yes, we really are listening. This is a way to elevate that story in a way that people will talk about and share. It’s really about finding how to show that we really do care and value feedback from our customers. As a company in the industry that we’re in, where there’s so much negativity, it’s not enough to just say ‘Thanks for the comment.’ We need to go above and beyond.”
Paul’s words here – “above and beyond” are key. Social media use by brands – including banks – has evolved to a point where responsiveness isn’t just nice… it’s expected. And when it comes to customer service replies, it can be difficult to avoid sounding like a robot. I’ve written before about how refreshing it can be when a financial institution deviates from canned responses, and so I appreciate the offbeat quality of the Fifth Third Bank videos.
Media Logic has seen these kinds of customer comment-inspired social media videos before. Remember the Old Spice Man’s Internet Responses? The campaign, which won a Webby Award for “Best Use of Social Media,” served up personalized messages to fans, including celebrities like Alyssa Milano and George Stephanopoulos. And there was also Wendy’s Shorty Award-winning “Pretzel Bacon Cheeseburger Love Songs” campaign, which, much like #BankLove, turned customer feedback into songs. We’ve even seen a bank’s customer appreciation campaign – #TDThanksYou – “go viral.”
Here’s why campaigns like these matter: social media channels are most useful when they step outside of information distribution, product sales and even customer service. They have the greatest value when they contribute to customers’ brand experience. According to Fifth Third’s Shannon Paul, the #BankLove campaign does just that:
“I think we’re really just beginning to scratch the surface on sharing, in terms of seeing brands co-create experiences with consumers. There’s a lot of opportunity in that space, like branded geo-filters and lenses on Snapchat, and we’re going to see that continue to get smarter. Consumers are already creating so much media on their own, so how can we collaborate with them and be part of their conversation?”
#BankLove is a great example of how a bank can use social media not to close-out an issue or take a conversation off-line but to begin a much larger dialog about the relationship between a financial institution and its customers – bonus points when the social media campaign is able to illustrate the relationship itself. And that certainly was the case with this campaign from Fifth Third Bank.