Sunday, February 22, 2009

A Valentine’s promotion
that will steal your heart!

As promised, here’s an update on a heartwarming bank promotion I covered earlier. In my February 12th post, I introduced you to Cash, First Arkansas Bank & Trust’s (FAB&T) new mascot. He was rescued from a local humane association by this 29-branch community bank. In the true spirit of a family-owned bank, Cash has literally become part of the “family”. He resides with the bank’s compliance officer. And, the idea for the rescued dog was an inside job as well, after several bank employees had a brainstorming session.

In a personal interview with Roger Sundermeier, FAB&T’s vice president-marketing officer, said, “We started out simply wanting a new face for our Kids’ Savings Account, and it has blossomed into a full-blown face for our brand!” The bank had a “Cash is Coming Soon!” teaser campaign which caught the attention of the community. “And that doesn’t even begin to touch on the excitement we have generated among our employees,” noted Sundermeier. “We’re hoping that soon people will see a yellow lab in public and say, ‘Hey! That looks like the First Arkansas Bank and Trust dog!’”

Partnering with Build-A-Bear Workshop
In a heartfelt banking promotion, FAB&T partnered with Build-A-Bear Workshop to create 300 miniature plush Cash replicas wearing logoed T-shirts. The bank marketing promotion carried the theme, “Give a little Cash 2 the one U love!” Cash replicas were available during a short 1 ½ week window just before Valentine’s Day. The net proceeds of over $2,000 from the sold-out sale of these stuffed animals are being donated to local animal shelters. Sundermeier explained, “With the situation of our economy now, pets are sometimes the first thing a family will let go.” FAB&T said the bank wanted to draw attention to overcrowding in animal shelter due to the economic downturn.

Cash will soon have kennel mates (of the plush variety). With the success of the Valentine’s promotion, FAB&T's is rolling out “Cash’s Crew” in early March. Up for “adoption” will be five additional pups. Their names, Farley, Austin, Barksley, Andy and Tiffany, spell out the bank’s acronym FAB&T.

More dog-gone good promotions!
FAB&T’s upcoming customer appreciation events will revolve around Cash and be billed as “Dog Daze.” Some of the bank marketing events will include a mobile pet grooming service giving free baths and haircuts to dogs, free pet photos using a local photographer, a basic obedience class and mobile pet adoptions sponsored by local animal shelters.

Alright, I’ll admit it. I’m a sap for animals! Just wish some of those banks who are currently in the dog house with negative press could create more heartwarming promotions. They need it.

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