As Snapchat has nudged its way into the advertising world over the past year, businesses have made use of the tool to reach out to a younger audience. One of these businesses is ASB Bank, which has seen huge success through its use of Snapchat to reach tertiary students, and ASB general manager of marketing Shane Evans says it plans to keep using it.
ASB ran a campaign earlier in the year to target university students. Users needed to add ASBBank on Snapchat and it released two challenges each week on the ‘My Story’ section. Each challenge was open for 24 hours and those who completed it entered their details to go into the draw to win anything from McDonald’s vouchers to concert tickets.
There was also a total of 22 scholarships to be won between January 5 2015 and March 20 2015, with every challenge entered correctly also being added to a draw to win $10,000, which was be deposited into an ASB Tertiary accounts.
And the campaign was successful, with Evans saying ASB has around 20,000 friends on Snapchat and achieved 160 percent of its target for sign up accounts.
Evans says the bank also used Snapchat to drive customers into the branch. “We had activations at our branches whereby we said that we had a prize locked inside a safe and whoever cracked the code won the prize. We had up to 500 people queuing at our Auckland University branch.”
There were even some unexpected pleasant surprises which came from the campaign, he says, with the bank receiving about 800 ‘snaps’ from its users, completely unprompted.
“All were positive snaps and it shows how people were highly engaged with the material … [Our] favourite ones were them with their ASB credit cards, a lot sent jokes around the competitions and [were] doing playful takes on our creative as well … for us it proved it was a really cool, fun channel. Everything we got back was positive.”
Through research and talking with tertiary customers it became apparent that it was the most popular app they used and it made more sense to go directly to its audience rather than advertising to them through traditional means, he says. “And we always go for the channels our customers are in, so we used it to talk directly to the students because it’s an environment they are comfortable with and it’s a way we can correctly engage with them about their financial lives and decisions.”
He said through some brainstorming with a focus group ASB works with, it found Snapchat was the most popular platform among tertiary students. “Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook [were the most popular], although Facebook was seen as a place where their parents were so it was declining in audience,” he says. “We knew this audience were numb to traditional advertising. Many have ad blockers on their phones and desktops so we needed to think about how we could target them and then working with Saatchi & Saatchi we developed the campaign.”
One of the reasons it worked so well, he says, was the playful nature of the content ASB used. “ … We tried to remain as relevant as we could for the audience and we were quite playful with our content and focused on using it in a natural way”.
Evans says ASB will “absolutely” continue to use the platform. “For us when you think about students and the people who are on Snapchat, it’s important for us to use that channel as a way to communicate with people.”
He says the bank would typically send two ‘snaps’ per week, giving away a range of prizes including tickets and iPhones. “ … we wanted to get people engaged and then people could go in the draw to win the grand scholarship.”
He says once the bank got Snapchat it was relatively easy to use, with the main challenge being the ever-evolving nature of it.
Looking to the future, Evans says ASB is working with the All Blacks sponsorship and a few other things he can’t share at the moment, however in terms of Snapchat, he says “ … it will form a core part of what we do in the future.”
(UPDATE) Saatchi & Saatchi business director Teresa David says: "We were delighted ASB embraced the idea of using Snapchat as a channel to engage their student audiences and supported us in creating a series of snaps tailored to the platform as well as an effective acquisition funnel. The results speak for themselves - a highly engaged audience of 20,000 and record acquisition numbers off the back of the campaign."
Saatchi & Saatchi
Executive Creative Directors: Corey Chalmers & Guy Roberts
Creatives: Thomas Marcusson, Charlie Godinet, Phil Hickes
Director of Strategy: Murray Streets
Senior Digital Strategist: Ian Hulme
Digital Production Director: Lorraine Guerin
Digital Producer: Brendan Haddock
Information Architect: Sarah Kelliher
Digital Designer: Megan Ying
Senior Front-end Developer: Georgy Malanichev
Systems Engineer/Back-end Developer: Dmitry Shumkov
Senior Flash Developer: Steven Ashby
Senior Designer: Chris Leskovsek
TV Producer: Anna Kennedy
Animator: Tomas Cottle
Business Director: Teresa Davis
Senior Account Director: Michael Wood
Account Director: Campbell McLean
Digital Client Director: Fiona McLeod
Production Assistant and Content Creator: Jess Reihana
General Manager of Marketing: Shane Evans
Associate Marketing Manager: Lisa Bradley
ASB Social Media: Bhavika Rambhai
Digital Brand Manager: Catrina Kuehler