campaigns that change your life

I must confess that I hadn’t know of IDEO until now. I know, shame on me (their website is great btw, you should definitely have a look at it. It’s ze innovation / design company).

Anyway, there campaign for Bank of America, ‘keep the change’, is of pure brilliance:

Based on ethnographic research that showed that target customers–boomer-age women with kids–tended to round up their financial transactions for both speed and convenience, IDEO developed a service that rounds up purchases made with a Bank of America Visa debit card to the nearest dollar, and then transfers the difference from the customer’s checking account to her savings account. That bit of financial wizardry also solved another problem: low savings rates among the members of the target demo. The campaign proved so popular that it drew more than 2.5 million customers in its first year, including 700,000 new checking accounts and one million new savings accounts for the bank. That’s no small change. (Fast Company)

Amazing. I wish my bank was doing that now.

It reminds me a bit of the Tap Project (from Droga 5), in which people are asked, for one day, to give $1 for tap water in restaurants, the money being given to charity to give clean water to people who need it.

Powerful ideas that change lives. That’s what I’m talking about. The solution is not always and ad. It actually rarely is.

And here is another one. That won’t change your life this time, but that made me laugh. Zuji, an online holiday site in Australia, wants to encourage people to take more holidays. So they are selling some items so cheaply that it helps you save for your holiday. Great idea. However, how many baked beans do I need to buy to actually save enough money for my holiday? What effect does selling cheap food have on their brand? It may work for baked beans, but it won’t work for much more products.

It’s nothing more than a stunt. A successful one mind you, it’s been talked about quite a lot, but it’s just that. A stunt. And it might be a bit confusing for punters at the end of the day.

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  1. thinknative
    July 9, 2008 at 3:37 pm

    Lloyds TSB currently have a ‘Save the change’ option for their Visa debit card 😉

  2. Rob
    July 11, 2008 at 9:50 am

    IDEO make a mockery of most ad agencies who claim to develop ‘ideas’ … they are also more effective than most ad campaigns … why more agencies don’t learn from them and instead choose to favour good-but-not-as-good-as-they-think companies like Anomoly [or however you spell it] is beyond me.

    And don’t forget Tesco’s … possibly the most creative company interms of identifying unexpected relevance for customer/community benefit.

    Seriously I love adland – but we’re so far behind some companies it’s a joke.

    Hope all is well …

  3. Digicynic
    July 11, 2008 at 1:46 pm

    I’m in awe with them. IDEO. They are my new heroes.
    I can’t comment too much about it, but my feelings are with you…

  4. Rob
    July 12, 2008 at 2:09 am

    You’re not the only one in your company that feels the same way – whether that will change things is another issue altogether – but the desire with certain key people is there, even if others still believe an ad can do it all 🙂

  5. Digicynic
    July 12, 2008 at 5:20 pm

    how happy you must be to have found such a great way out. I’m envious.

  6. Digicynic
    July 14, 2008 at 3:37 pm

    They clearly have nicked it from Bank of America! It’s a great service, although I don’t think it’s enough to make me switch to Lloyds… Christ the music of their ads make me cringe. But I’d sure take it if my bank was to offer it.

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