MONEY SCHOOL for BCR

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MONEY SCHOOL

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Industry Banking & Financial Services, Public awareness
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Released July 2012

Credits & Description

Category: Crisis and Issue Management
Advertiser: BCR
Product/Service: SAVINGS AND LOANS
Managing Partner: Mihai Fanache (Media Cafe)
Interactive Planner: Sorana Roman (Media Cafe)
Creative Director: Adrian Puescu (Media Cafe)
Digital Media Director: Octavian Cioaca (Media Cafe)
Managing Director: Bogdan Prajisteanu (Mediaedge:cia)
Media Director: Lucia Gradisteanu (Mediaedge:cia)
Interactive Media Director: Marius Pahomi (Mediaedge:cia)
Client Service Director: Aura Toma (Tempo)
Creative Director: Adrian Preda (Tempo)
Managing Director: Sorina Mihai (Bt Events)
Public Relations Consultant/Media Relations: Irina Ciolac (Rogalski Grigoriu Public Relations)
Head of Project/ Public Relations Consultant: Eliza Rogalski (Rogalski Grigoriu Public Relations)
Executive Director Marketing Division: Daniel Pana (BCR)
Head of Direct Marketing: Felicia Halauca (BCR)
Head of Below The Line: Adina Loghin (BCR)
Marketing Specialist: Alina Camelia Petcu (BCR)
Client Service Director: Simona Dan (Rogalski Grigoriu Public Relations)
Head of Online PR Practice: Alexandra Ion (Rogalski Grigoriu Public Relations)
Media placement: Media Relations - Newspapers, Magazines, E-Zines - October 14
Media placement: Blogger Relations - Blogs - October 14
Media placement: TV Campaign - 1 Spot - TV - October 14
Media placement: Online Banner Campaign - Online - October 14
Media placement: Social Media - Youtube, Facebook And Twitter - October 7
Media placement: BTL - Street Buzz - November 11

Summary of the Campaign
BCR, owned by the leading financial group in Central and Eastern Europe – Erste Group - required a PR campaign that should reflect the core mission stated in 1819 by its founders: “We are not a foundation owned by a bank. We are a foundation that owns a bank.” 190 years later, the biggest challenge for BCR was to create a proper consumer response to the financial crisis. The objective of this campaign was to overcome negative perception about banking due to financial crisis and restore public opinion into the leading bank – BCR. We did it by a strategy of building a knowledgeable class of consumers that, irrespective of any economic condition, should be able to achieve their personal plans and dreams. We turned a negative systemic perception into a brand building opportunity for BCR by creating a peer-to-peer educational campaign on financial topics. This was “Money School” – a contest and online community where people could learn and earn from the most credible sources: other people like them. We introduced a new currency – the Super Lion (the Lion is the national currency) - which is the money one saves to buy a dream. We celebrated the first “National Day without Unnecessary Expenses” and we made people aware of their own power to control their financial welfare. At the end of this challenge, the “Super Lion” was declared one of the most important economic personalities that changed the evolution of 2009 in our country, while “Money School” built brand equity for BCR during financial crisis.

The Goal
Our campaign aimed to build a knowledgeable class of consumers who manage their financial resources wisely and serve as live examples to other people. The objectives of the program were: engagement (10,000 people – or 5,000 teams - to join the “Money School” during the 2 application weeks. At least 30% of the users to consider they became more responsible with money; at least 50% of users to consider Money School a useful program). Reach (150,000 unique online visitors during 6 weeks of contest). Brand equity - at least 10% of 20-60 y.o. population to link Money School with BCR.

Results
Engagement: - 17,422 applicants (8,711 teams) applied to the Money School (a 74% over achievement); 80% of users belong to 20-40 y.o. population. - 85% of the users consider they became more responsible with money (compared to planned 30%) - 84% considered Money School was useful and very useful (compared to planned 50%) - More than 7,000 online comments were generated in 6 weeks. Reach: - 300,074 unique visitors on the web site during the 6 weeks of campaign (compared to planned 150,000) according to Google Analytics - 71 articles and 49 blog posts - 1,490,000 Google search results Brand equity: - 25% of the 20-60 y.o. population link Money School with BCR (compared to planned 10%). Recognition: - The Super Lion entered the top of the economic personalities that changed 2009, according to number 1 business weekly in our country, while Money School was awarded the online campaign of the year by a jury of business leaders, while its initiator – BCR – ranked number 1 non-technology brand in Social Media Top in 2009.

Execution
1. Teasing – one week ahead, we launched a reversed “Manifesto” on youtube.com showing “how to get broke in 10 steps”. 2. Application period – on October 14, we started a 2 week blogger competition to buy an impossible object with Super Lions. The resulting conversation was released on 4,000 screens in supermarkets and shopping malls, generating School applications. 3. “Pocket of the year” contest – for 6 weeks, the Headmaster held classes about money and organised 2 exams on a social media platform (www.scoaladebani.ro) that we created to allow people share, learn and earn as teams. Applicants had their own “online election campaign”, increasing project exposure. 4. “A national day without unnecessary expenses” – on November 11, we developed a 24-hour campaign, after applicants requested to engage the entire nation into this project. 5. The “Pocket of the Year” was won by a young couple on December 17, 2009.

The Situation
In full economic difficulties, an attempt to start an educational program about earning and spending money responsibly might have been seen with suspicion and criticism by consumers and media, especially because no particular such effort had been implemented consistently during economic boom, by any bank. The PR team had to re-frame the negative context and create a relevant angle for this topic that should add benefits to BCR brand and to the society at large.

The Strategy
The previous research revealed that consumers linked financial welfare with the expectation to win at lottery and gave us a hint about what target groups were more likely to give and get financial advice. We targeted primarily young couples and families (20-40 y.o.), assuming they will follow our message and share it to their universe, making the campaign successful also across the secondary target groups (40-50 y.o. and 50+ y.o.) We created a massive online and offline conversation about money which took the shape of a peer-to-peer educational campaign - “Money School”. We coined the School’s currency - the Super Lion, which we meant to be the Lion (the national currency) one saves when spending respnsibly. And then we launched a challenge – the “Pocket of the Year” contest – to find the family or couple proving financial expertise to highest level.