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Congratulations to Dexia for some new bank thinking

Thanks to the Italian blog Banca2.0, I stumbled across Dexia Belgium’s marketing campaign to Gen Y that worked wonders almost a year ago.

The campaign is based around Dexia’s youth bank, Axion, and the bank’s aim was to appeal to 15 to 30 year old Belgian’s by highlighting music as the theme.

But not just any old music: web music.

The bank used media agency Boondoggle to come up with a brilliant campaign whereby an internet ‘banner ad’ styled stage was built, and then a bunch of well-known Belgian bands were filmed to kick-start the competition.

The competition?

Oh yea, the competition is based upon so many struggling bands out there on MySpace and YouTube, why not give them a showcase.

This video describes the whole campaign:

If you can’t watch the vid, here’s what it says:

Banks and youngsters.

It’s not really love at first sight.

They try to win your heart and wallet by giving you …

… a free sports bag!

But what if a bank actually did something meaningful for young people?

Wouldn’t that be a better way of connecting with future customers?

Axion is a Belgian Bank (and division of Dexia) that decided to really support youngsters.

In one of the most important aspects of their life: music.

The past few years, there’s been an ever increasing number of young bands, trying in vain for MySpace fame.

In a time when the international music industry is struggling to survive, Axion decided it was time to give these young bands a little push.

We created an internet first: “Banner Concerts”.

We built boxes in exactly the same scale as online banners.

We invited well known Belgian bands to perform live in the boxes, and filmed their concerts.

We played these videos as the first Banner Concerts ever.

Each banner led to the Banner Concerts website: the first website that consisted of nothing but banners.

Banner Concert

On the website, you could enter your own band’s work, to try to win your very own Banner Concert.

Banner Concert1

We raised extra awareness by spreading posters in music and CD stores, bars and restaurants …


… broadcasting commercials on MTV and TMF, and sending out emails.

In the second phase of the campaign, a jury selected 25 bands out of 255 entries, and went back to the studios to record 25 new Banner Concerts videos.

The 25 new Banner Concerts we heavily promoted the winning bands on lots of other websites, and the public got to vote for which was the very best Banner Concert.

The bands themselves were also very creative about promoting their work on social networking sties.

And the winning band – Bad Cirkuz – won a recording session and a real gig at Ancienne Belgique, one of Belgium’s biggest concert halls.

The results:

  • 25 young bands got an exposure for their live gig via 6,807,442 banner impressions on Belgium’s most popular websites and, by providing an embed option, a further 43,479 impressions were generated on fan pages and blogs
  • Between October and December 2008, 44,845 unique visitors went to the Banner Concerts website and, between December 1st and 10th, 7,581 people voted for their favourite Banner Concert.

And that’s how the advertising space of a bank became the advertising space of a band.

If you want to know more about this campaign, I also found that Finanser soulmate Jeffry Pilcher of the Financial Brand wrote a good case study on this last month.


About Chris M Skinner

Chris M Skinner
Chris Skinner is best known as an independent commentator on the financial markets through his blog, TheFinanser.com, as author of the bestselling book Digital Bank, and Chair of the European networking forum the Financial Services Club. He has been voted one of the most influential people in banking by The Financial Brand (as well as one of the best blogs), a FinTech Titan (Next Bank), one of the Fintech Leaders you need to follow (City AM, Deluxe and Jax Finance), as well as one of the Top 40 most influential people in financial technology by the Wall Street Journal’s Financial News. To learn more click here...

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