81 FORESTS IN 81 CITIES for Isbank

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81 FORESTS IN 81 CITIES

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Industry Banking, Environmental & Animal Issues
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market Turkey
Released July 2012

Credits & Description

Category: Environmental PR
Advertiser: ISBANK
Product/Service: ENVIROMENTAL
Corporate Communication Division Manager: Suat Sozen (Isbank)
Corporate Communication Unit Manager: Zuhal Ureten (Isbank)
Media placement: 85th Year TV Campaign - 1578 Spots - All National And Thematic TVs - 26 August 2009
Media placement: 85th Year Newspaper Campaign - 9 frequency - full page - Milliyet, Posta, Haberturk, Cumhuriyet, Bugun, Birgun, Yeni Safak,.. - 26 August 2009
Media placement: Local TV Campaign - - 16 Cities Where Plantation Ceremony Takes Place In October-December 2009 - October 2009
Media placement: Local Newspaper Campaign - At Least One Local Newspaper In 16 Cities Where Plantation Ceremony Takes Place - October 2009

Summary of the Campaign
From its foundation in 1924, Isbank has maintained a steady profile and has been a stable force in virtually every corner of the country. Isbank developed “81 Forests in 81 Cities” program at the end of 2008. Being one of the biggest corporate plantation campaigns of Turkey, some of the funding of the program was solved by reducing the spending on New Year’s customer gifts. The aim was not only to plant a forest in each city but also instil environmental values in children and educate consumers about the benefits of increasing forest land. The project is carried in cooperation with the Ministry of Environment and TEMA Foundation. A plantation ceremony was organized in each city with participation of local authorities, Bank executives, the Ministry and TEMA representatives, staff and clients of local branches and children from the local schools. Participation of children is especially encouraged to develop environmental consciousness and love of nature in childhood. So far, Isbank has planted over one million saplings in 32 cities covering 600 hectares. In 2013 when all plantation will be completed the total area will reach to 1,500 hectares, which is equal to 3,000 soccer fields, and the numbers of saplings planted will exceed 2 million.

The Goal
The program objectives supported Isbank’s business goal to preserve market share and enjoy deep penetration throughout Turkey: - To plant 81 forests in 81 cities in five years (no less than 25 forests per year) - To plant 2 million trees - To cover 1,500 hectares, equal to 3,000 soccer fields - To care each of the trees 5 years after plantation - To instil environmental values in Turkish children - To create public consciousness to environment - To educate consumers about the benefits of increasing forest land

Results
So far, Isbank has planted forests in 32 cities, surpassing its objective by 30%. Isbank not only kept its market share in 2009: they actually increased it. This was no small feat during the global economic meltdown. While the environment program did not play a direct role in marketing, its expansive presence was nicely integrated with the bank’s positioning as the oldest, most established, ubiquitous bank in Turkey. Equally important as improving the environment, the program realized its aim to inform and engage people about caring for the environment throughout. Since the beginning of 2009, there were 334 news items, with exposure to more than 77 million readers. Over the next five years, the “81 Forests in 81 Cities” program will provide muscle and money to preserve their precious creations, involving all the stakeholders: the Ministry, TEMA, volunteers, children, local government…and thankfully, the customers who provide funding.

Execution
The Ministry determined the locations of the forests and recommended the types of trees to be planted in each site. TEMA’s experience in forming volunteers to implement environmental initiatives in Turkey was tapped for ways to involve people at the local level, particularly children. The media had a major part to play informing people at the local and national levels and motivating people to participate in planting trees and maintaining the forests. The media itself partook in the planting festivities, with dozens of journalists planting trees and tagging them with their names. Television and newspaper advertisements were customized for each city where a forest was planted and broadcasted on local channels and newspapers. The program was included in Isbank’s 85 year anniversary celebration advertising campaign on television and print media. Direct marketing techniques also informed customers by sending New Year cards on recycled paper to underline the importance of environmental protection.

The Situation
Wishing to deepen its roots in Turkey’s land, and to fine tune its focus on the future of the country, Isbank decided to develop a program to improve the environment. Given that the diminishing rate of forests poses severe environmental problem in the long run, Isbank developed a program to plant forests throughout the country. Also wants to improve Isbank’s approval rate amongst customers, the Bank solved the challenge of funding such a program in time of global economic crisis by reducing the spending on New Year’s customer gifts.

The Strategy
Isbank has a unique and rich tradition of preserving Turkey’s heritage, through history and language, literature and culture. Its CSR programs were focused on education, environment, culture and art. So when it came time to launch an environmental responsibility program, Isbank’s plan to grow and expand forests throughout the country moved forward unwavered. Isbank’s program has its tentacles in the far reaches of the country. But the program didn’t stop with only planting trees. To succeed in expanding its roots in the future of the country, Isbank set out to inform and engage people in all 81 cities. Isbank wished to match its presence in even the most remote parts of Turkey, as it has with its retail banking business…leaving no citizen behind.