Another Bank Chases Millennials With Digital Games, Ads

Fifth Third Tapped Leo Burnett for a Campaign Focused on the Speed of Its Banking App

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Fifth Third hopes to entice younger consumers with, among other things, video comparing the speed of its app with the speed of a hamster eating cheeseballs.
Fifth Third hopes to entice younger consumers with, among other things, video comparing the speed of its app with the speed of a hamster eating cheeseballs. Credit: Leo Burnett

Fifth Third Bank knows that, for millennials, the waiting is the hardest part. So the regional lender is starting a new campaign focused around the speed of its mobile app. It's the latest in the Cincinnati-based bank's efforts to woo younger consumers, whom it considers increasingly disillusioned by the traditional banking world.

With Leo Burnett Chicago, the company has introduced a 30-second commercial, which will air in 15 markets, as part of its "No Waiting" campaign. The spot tells the story of a man who doesn't have to wait for things, like fish to nibble his line, or his hair to dry after a shower. In addition, Fifth Third is debuting 10 different digital demonstrations to prove how fast its app can be -- consumers can see if it's faster to deposit a check through Fifth Third's app, or for a hamster to eat cheeseballs.

And on Feb. 9, Fifth Third will introduce its first mobile game, which is also focused on speed. Promoted through social channels, the game will allow users to compete to see who is fastest at texting.

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"We created a mobile banking experience through the Fifth Third mobile app that moves at your speed: now," said Maria Veltre, Fifth Third's executive VP and chief marketing officer, in an email. "Our mobile banking takes the wait out of banking and we believe these videos tell that story in a fun engaging way."

"Consumers have been anesthetized through years of thin claims made by banks," said Louis Slotkin, the exec VP at Leo Burnett who worked on the campaign. The agency has had a relationship with Fifth Third since 2011. "We're trying to break through that anesthesia," he said, noting that smaller banks can't compete with larger rivals on the number of outposts or ATMs, they can compete with their messages to millennials.

It's a refrain that is becoming more common in the financial industry as companies like Visa and Mastercard try to attract younger generations with innovative forms of payment. Earlier this month, Atlanta-based regional bank SunTrust announced it will air its first Super Bowl spot, spending an estimated $5 million on the 30-second spot, in an effort to convince consumers that banking is worth their time.

Fifth Third typically launches two to three big marketing messages each year. The company reported fourth-quarter earnings Thursday; revenue rose 30% to $2 billion over the year-earlier period while net income increased 71% to $634 million.

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