Monday, September 29, 2008

Ads at T5

When you land at T5 these days as soon as you are off the plane you see GT Bank advertising, with two massive adverts for Intercontinental bank in the luggage collection hall. The Intercontinental deal cost millions of pounds (see here) and I'm sure the GTB placements were not cheap.

Apart from showing off that its possible for a Nigerian bank to have an advert in Heathrow, its hard to see the point of either bank doing this. If they are targetting Nigerian customers (apparently there is a minimum 5000 quid deposit to get a GT Bank account in the UK), there are surely much more focused ways of gaining mindshare in London - 99% of Heathrow's customers will have no idea who GT Bank and Intercontinental are, and care even less. That represents a waste of money.

The creative itself is quite lame - the GT Bank ad has the image of Big Ben (really innovative that idea guys). One comes away from seeing both adverts thinking that either they are just showing off and blowing money away, or that the media planners/buyers they have hired are just a bit thick.


Red Eyes 12:16 pm  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Red Eyes 12:17 pm  

If we start referring to the media planners as thickos, we may be mistaken, I tell you. It IS those running things i.e. those at the helm of such banks who would have had to approve what may have been proposed by the media planners in question. Even were it to have been the quality of work of the media planners, who would we say took the decision to hire?

I pity all those who think soludo knows what he is doing. In a country like Nigeria we don’t need big banks considering the kind of economy we run. Its like increasing uncertainty in an underdeveloped economic environment. I’m no prophet of doom but let’s all wait and see.

I have never been able to understand the passion some have for a banking career in the Nigeria of today. How could any intelligent mind happily be employed to expend their time working for these ... I would rather be poorer than the poorest begger

Kody 1:27 pm  

On the contrary, the media buyers are being very clever in maximising their earnings. It is client who is thick but I know what you mean.

I was once in a meeting when media buyers were advising client to buy targeted poster sized spaces near Nigeria check in desks since client was insisting on advertising aboard. They were told off for 'thinking too small'. The major and only concern of the bank marketing staff was to ensure their MD sees the ads in prominent locations because he had allegedly been very angry to see competitor ads last time he was in London!

Anonymous,  4:12 pm  

I saw GTB advert on black cabs in Central London and I also wondered who their target market is. It feels to me like either some kind of ego trip or another way to launder money. If the banks are really targetting Nigerians in the UK, isn't it better they target areas or places frequented by Nigerians? Or better still, they might want to consider sponsoring a Nigerian production or event which will attract lots of Nigerians and West Africans. My friends in branding and advertising here in the UK were saying how they don't get Nigerian advertising and marketing spend.

Anonymous,  7:30 pm  

target market? these guys aren't even proper bankers. they're only doing it to wind up zenith and co.

Chad 9:35 pm  

You guys have it all wrong. Nigerian banks are not in England to target Nigerians. They are there to target the British. Just like American banks or German banks or French banks are there to compete for the British household savings and investments. I haven't seen the ads but I am sure they don't even expose the fact that the banks are Nigerian. Because it would probably work against the goal. Jeremy, for a guy, who once defended himself from attacks in the comments section by detailing your extensive education experience, your accusation is completely myopic. You and the other posters are showing your ignorance by criticizing them in this regard. You can criticize whether they will be successful and get the market share necessary to make the endeavor worthwhile? Red eyes knows absolutely nothing about economic planning if he thinks we do not need big banks. You say that nobody will know who GT bank or Intercontinental bank is. But that's the point. It's advertising. That what advertising does. First stage of the implementation of a new product is brand awareness which is done by inundating the public in high traffic places. Subways, airports, buses so it sticks psychologically or what you call mind share. What is wrong with that? Will it need to increased market share. i don't know. It's a gamble like anything else but my point is that all other companies use the same method. The naivety of some of the comments makes me wonder whether people reason at all when anything involves Nigerians. We are so jaded that we make meaningless criticism without using common sense.

Kody 8:07 am  

Chad, nice try but I am sorry to say, way off the mark.

Even if a bank is there to target foreigners, it make no marketing sense to blanket target everyone. The proportion of advertising spend in relation to its reach, recollection and call to action is way disjointed and a colossal waste of money.

To be effective, you have to target groups (not random individuals) who are doing business in Nigeria, or whom you know have plans to do so. There are easily identified and there are cheaper and way more creative means in which to reach them. I get paid very well to do the job for a living so don't expect a free lesson.

Once you identify your target groups (the banks clearly have not), you can even measure the return on your investment more easily. To do it any other way will result in you losing your message amongst more relevant advertising.

Try standing at Heathrow - the busiest airport in the world, or a London street and check out the sea of people around you then reason your argument again.

Don't forget, if advertising is to be effective, the target audience must have easy access to act on its message.

Mr C 11:09 am  

Chad, I am struggling hard to align with the point you are trying to prove.
You say "Just like American banks or German banks or French banks are there to compete for the British household savings and investments", haven't you heard of the credit crunch? The bulk of the British population has its savings and investments tied up in mortgages. They are not going to be so stupid as the carry their new investments to one unknown bank because they saw the slogan at Heathrow airport. They are most sophisticated than that. Motivating factors to switch banks will include factors like experience, bank capitalization (which Nigerian banks are no where in their leagues) and flexibility of service (not adverts or the supposedly high cost of opening an account).
If they have such plans in their group strategy, the question to be asked is "is now the right time, when you have untapped market in Nigeria will lower entry cost and the potential to reap higher returns on investment"?

Lets face it,they are just trying to create activities for themselves in U.K. to warrant the frequent request for visa by staff members(who actually have their eyes on Oxford Street).

Red Eyes 12:59 pm  

When the German, Henry Lehman, opened his small shop in the city of Montgomery, Alabama in 1844, why didn't he pretend it was a bank? That it wasn't a shop?

You guys with your little shops, you call banks and you are making noise here.

It’s not about your particular thieving bank or platform. The question is whether people will be able to trust you? How many years will it take your integrity, ability, or character to soar above that of an institution like lehman brothers?

I shall not comment further on this subject.

There are some things which are difficult for our feeble human thinking to grasp and it seems to me rather useless to spend time discussing something unintelligible, which in the nature of things must turn out to be fruitless. The more scope you give to your feeble mind the sooner things will be revealed to you. A lot is obviously concealed from you!

Red Eyes 2:04 pm  

for the avoidance of doubt, my earlier comment at 12:59pm was served for Chad @ 9:35pm

mo mo wipe eru n ba o ni wipe ki babablawo ma da enu ife ko e...sokoto ma to bo ni di

dapxin 6:59 pm  

What if this T5 post without a picture is another one fake-tip-off a la Channels TV?


Banking, Ads, London ? What's the correlation?

Oh did I read big ben? This has to be fake...

Chad 12:22 am  

The point is an ad at heathrow is not a waste. Why are they so expensive and used by all companies. I work in advertising. You can target market or balnket teh market. The airport is an effective strategy of the altter. You are responding to jeremy's post. I am 100% sure they are not only putting ads in the airport, if that is what you think? Criticism of anyone's marketing strategy is allowed. But the technique is valid and has been used by other old or new companies.

To Mr. C, you have no idea what you are talking about. Nigerians do not want to invest. Nigerians have been trained to be traders. It is difficult to get the money bags to make long-term investment. It's why MTN was a monopoly for so long. Afrter the Nigerians saw the profit, they invested. They are not innovators. They pass on things they don't understand. Thye understand import-export, buy and sell. The idea is to lure foreign money with the promise of the high rate of return available in Nigeria compared to the amture markets of Europe vs US. It's not just the Nigerians. Do you have a portfolio manager? call him up and guess where he's going to try and sell you to invest your money. It's not America, S.E. Asia, or Europe. You are allowed to be cynical. The Nigerian govt with its failed communism posing as African Socialism has made us all cynical. But these are not govt. institutions but private institutions. They are in the game of making profit. Who will bail them out when they've wasted all the money on Oxford St. as you speak.

To Red eyes, what is wrong with a feeble mind. Feeble minds are to be eduacted. If my argument is feeble, then I do not know better. User boards are for exchange of ideas. The banks are little shops, technically. I don't get that point. They are trying to grow. They have their heart, mostly, ( a little egunge under the table)in the right place. It's not tahn anywhere else. they are not over leveraged and trying to raise income. When did that become a bad thing? Will they fail? who knows? the point is to try. I amy of feeble mind, olodo or an idiot and I wish to learn. I am asking to be duacted Please do. It would be nice.

Red Eyes 10:44 am  

chad 12:22am

My dear friend I think the question raised by the post is double barrelled.

Whether they put the adverts on the worlds highest mountains (everest) or its deepest oceans and seas (i.e. south China Sea) or in your MD's toilets or kirikiri where he may end up eventually,my question is whether people will be able to trust you? How many years will it take your integrity, ability, or character to soar above that of an institution like your failed 156 year old lehman brothers? A bank that survived world wars.

What you are saying is this "If you cant walk, jog. If you cant crawl, walk." Fela sang opposite people. You should have added the "but by all means keep moving."

You cant crawl, oya do several front flips from a 4 feet block trying to clear a 9 to 10ft.

You prefer to get a bus, but it's easier to walk down. And you can't walk before you can crawl. Just what the hell do you know about advertising? You think say na posing?

Your MD should go learn about the call to action. He should remember, dem go wan try b4 dem buy. Dem no wan talk to una. Make it safe for them to contact una by creating a free hotline where they can order a special report or a checklist. But will they trust you thieving guys enough. Trust is the keyword. Who the f*** is Tayo Aderinokun, Managing Director/Chief Executive of GTBank? Has he a golden name?

I repeat, my question is whether people will be able to trust you? How many years will it take your integrity, ability, or character to soar above that of an institution like your failed 156 year old lehman brothers?

Anengiyefa 5:05 pm  

Well, Lehman Brothers lasted 156 years, but it failed ultimately. So to my mind, this bank is hardly a worthy example of heights that other banks should be aspiring to...

GT Bank in the UK? Well, I see Pakistani, Indian, Kuwaiti, Japanese, Korean, Saudi, Indonesian, UAE, Malaysian banks, so why not Nigerian ones? Target market? I heard someone say "British household savings and investments"...and I nearly choked on my akamu..

lehman brothers,  10:12 am  

"Well, Lehman Brothers lasted 156 years, but it failed ultimately. So to my mind, this bank is hardly a worthy example of heights that other banks should be aspiring to..."

Well, I'm not a worthy example but a warning/lesson to you all...

ha....ha.....ha...I would like GTB to come join me...ha....ha....ha

Mr C 8:41 pm  

Chad. I really don't see were you get your ideas from. And I don't see the point commenting further, or trying to assist you rationalize why their action is that way. It just doesn’t make too much sense, period.
My conclusion is either you believe that because you haven't see the ads yet or your uncle is the MD of one of the banks. If the latter is true, I wish you and the bank all the best and hope you get to corner all the British investments.

LOL, Anengiyefa. I beg no choke. I am not against Nigerian banks in UK. They can leverage on the opportunity available with the large Nigerian community. To do that, they will need to come up with strategies that will convince their potential customers of capabilities in managing the banking needs of Nigerians who have frequent contact with the UK. If what Jeremy statements are correct (that is having a minimum balance of 5000 pounds to open an account with GTB), then that megabank is completely out of touch with the general scheme of things (when markets are crashing and people are looking for advice that will save guard their investment from innovative sources; not sources that rely on petrol-dollar oil and unstable economic policies to thrive, or those whose growth and share prices show no resemblance with the economies they emerge from and realities on ground). The fact remains that no matter how bad the economies of England is the average British man (not institutions) will not transfer their hard earned "saving and investments" to economies like ours even if the Portfolio manager is a Warren Buffet. Remember 419?

Banking is a product that sells itself; it is not chocolate that choice of purchase is dependent on erratic views such as branding, colours, hot babes and the Big Ben (who the hell came up with that dumb idea?). People spend time to think and compare services before they make such choices. Yes advertisement and branding is required to frequently remind users of banking presence, but it has to be more strategic and subtle than that. A strategic publicity stunt I can propose that will make sense is the sponsoring the Notting Hill carnival and showcasing products that assist Nigerian seamlessly purchase houses in London or Nigeria, or the frequent Best of Nigeria in the Docklands Excel Exhibition centre.

ababoypart2 10:21 am  

5k min deposit! did u say 5k? Naira or Queen Eliza?

Onibudo 8:10 am  

The problem is the business model. If you look at the Business models that Nigerian banks use it values consumption over production. You are more likely to get a loan for plasma TV, car or even through a furniture store than to start a business. They are also not expanding the base of Bank usage in fact their business targets for their staff leads to more bank multiple bank accounts for the elite and high barriers for the workaday citizens both financially and in terms of documentation. It is therefore no surprise that they target the world that the aspirations and the affinity their elite customers identify with.

It is both intellectually lazy and economically unsustainable but the banks are not alone in this. For example Intra-Africa trade on trade between African countries has been less than 10% of formal trade since statistics started being collected. If our economies face the West and are shape by importation of consumer products and the export of extractive resources and commodities then why will banks being very lazy and risk averse not exploit of focus on this. In their logic this is an improvement from days when they grew fat simply on Government deposits as well as gambling on foreign exchange margins.

As shareholders and public commentators we should not just be involved in a verbal flourish but truly challenge this business model before we are sucked into the vortex of explosive bank failures. It is all our interests to keep these guys accountable.

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