I think I’m in love. No, not because it’s Valentines Day and love is in the air, but because I’ve just seen the whole roll out of the cheeky PR stunt National Australia Bank (NAB) pulled over the weekend as part of its new campaign. A stunt which the bank timed perfectly with Valentines Day, and even had competitor Westpac tweeting in response!
The Twitter stunt very briefly goes like this: @NAB tweets on Friday night – it appears to be that of a “staff member” who had a bad day, and accidentally tweeted their personal message on the NAB profile instead of their own. People commiserate – after all who hasn’t posted something they wish they hadn’t – but the faux pas takes off and is re-tweeted 100+ times, each time growing in momentum and linking people back to the NAB profile. It appears so genuine that even rival bank @Westpac jumps on board and shares in the commiserations – humanising the banking world yet again.
Regardless of how you view the stunt – and there has been wide criticism for its “unprofessional” approach – Friday night’s tweet probably achieved all initial objectives: it humanised the banking world, proving NAB do have a sense of humour; it used social media to generate conversations with potential consumers; and on a more measureable level it increased NAB’s Twitter followers. Combine this with a relatable and memorable tone and perfect, if not unconventional timing and it’s full steam ahead for kickstarting NAB’s cheeky new campaign. (One which could have followed suite of expected and previous bland banking campaigns had they been too afraid to take a risk).
I don’t advocate deceiving the public merely to pull off a campaign, but in the right context and aligned with the perfect mix of media to provide accurate information (and to let the public in on the joke quickly) social media is opening more and more pathways for re-inventing how businesses can communicate with their consumers, especially if they’re willing to take a chance.
I’m excited to see how the remaining “big 4” roll out their upcoming campaigns, after all, Barbara will probably have something to say about social media not belonging in “Bank World”.
Yours in social media for business,