The babies that are born now might be the first generation of kids who will conceivably never visit a bank branch. Even before the pandemic, many consumers were becoming more comfortable doing their banking online. Now, with the coronavirus spurring the closures of scores of bank locations, they may be even more inclined to do so.
And digital brand Ally Bank will be ready for them. The Detroit-based company is offering all babies born on Dec. 31 of this year $250 in a custodial savings account. Ally announced the initiative in an open letter to the soon-to-be-born consumers.
“To the New Year’s Eve babies of 2020,” the letter reads. “You should know that a lot will be said about your birth year, and much of it will be pretty tough to hear. There have been extraordinary challenges, tragedies and troubling events—that is true. But through it all, there also have been unprecedented awakenings, acknowledgements and opportunities for our human family to come together with a purpose to be better.”
Parents can visit Ally’s website to set up the accounts. The bank estimates there are about 10,000 births every day.
“You’re going to be that kid born in 2020, and everyone’s going to say, ‘Oh, you were born in 2020.’ We don’t want that to be the overhang on those poor kids,” says Andrea Brimmer, chief marketing and public relations officer at Ally.
The budget for the new accounts will come out of Ally’s product incentive budget, which normally includes an annual Banksgiving program that did not occur this year, and a portion of the marketing budget. Ally’s public relations firm, Tier One, helped the brand come up with the idea.
At the same time, Ally is promoting its savings accounts with a new spot debuting this week. Called “Save for What Matters,” the ad used stock footage to illustrate all the different things Ally customers put money away for this year—using actual analysis of spending habits. Earlier this year, Ally introduced a Smart Savings Tool that allows customers to set up different buckets for things like college education or a house within one account, rather than multiple accounts.
“Our customers have set up a million different buckets,” says Brimmer. “We actually used real data around what the most popular buckets were and what people were actually saving for.”
The spot, created with R/GA, will run through the end of the year. Ally also plans to make a donation to frontline workers for every download of the spot's song, “Giant,” by Luke Dick.