One month after First City Monument Bank (FCMB) concluded its merger with Finbank, the bank has rolled out a fresh campaign to communicate its new status to customers, Raheem Akingbolu writes
Towards the end of 2008, First City Monument Bank re-launched the phase II of its ‘My Bank and I, campaign, which was meant to communicate the passion of the brand to serve its patrons.
At the launching event, Vice-President and Head Brand Marketing of FCMB, Austin Ufomba, explained that the phase II of the campaign was to disclose an unfailing determination to build a stronger relationship with the bank’s customers. It was also stated that the bank anticipated customers’ needs and would always strive to meet the needs at the right moment.
Its Group Managing Director, Mr. Ladi Balogun, said the bank would use the phase II platform to partner the government in order to build the societal gap between the community and the citizens; thereby empowering people in different aspect of the sectors of the economy.
Five years after, FCMB, in an attempt to refresh the campaign and to extend its frontier, has unveiled ‘Better For You’, which seems to be communicating the new status of the bank to the public.
The campaign, which, like ‘My Bank and I’ is also in phases, has an introductory part that is presented in a letter writing style, where Balogun authored a letter to customers and other stakeholders on the renewal of his organisation’s commitment to Nigerians.
Through the letter, the GMD went down memory lane to the 25 years ago when FCMB started operation. He speaks about the bank’s exploits over the years and paints the picture of better years ahead. In a way, the introductory part gives the background of the new campaign and galvanises the public to expect a more robust operation.
The beauty of the campaign, which was conceptualised by DDB, a leading advertising agency is that it primarily uses staff of the banks to pass the message across. With this technique, the organisation demonstrated that it was embarked upon to carry along both the staff and customers on the operation of the bank was handled by the head of Contact Centre, who gave the perspective of customer service that is now operative in FCMB.
Also a branch manager from the North was successfully used to prove that the bank can boast of a diverse background as he speaks passionately about the ease of transaction in the bank’s hall.
Another one is the voice of a customer service person from the East, who, as an operations person, speaks about the operation of the bank and the improvement in the customer service of the bank.
However, the second phase is on the bank’s milestone and its accomplishment over the years. Like Balogun’s letter, the milestone ad is both historical and celebratory. With the Milestone approach, one can conclude that the bank is indirectly celebrating its newest achievement, which is the acquisition of Finbank.
In another one, the bank points out that it has grown its network, customer base, ATM, mobile banking, balance sheet and other operations with the recent acquisition. In one of the press ads, where a tree is used as an illustration, FCMB showcases the multiplication of its branches, following the new status.
In a jingle done by Cobhams, a music producer, Joke Silva, a consummate artist and Naeto C, a successful Nigerian musician were used as paradox to tell the story that life is in phases.
According to the head of Corporate Communication in the bank, Ikechukwu Kalu, the two artists were used because of their accomplishments in the entertainment industry to better illustrate what the ‘Better for You’ campaign is all about.
“The TVC is premised on the fact that we want to tell our story through Silva and Naeto C because of their achievement over the years and their commitment to their jobs. The way Joke Silva, for example, has carried herself as a professional, shows that she has mastered her role very well and moved from one stage to another like our bank,” he said.
He stated further that the campaign took the bank to its core value of professionalism, ambition and excellence that would make them move forward as an organisation.
“As an African business organisation, there is a need to look inward and review our processes. Professionalism has helped us in the last 25 years and we want to sustain it. We want to say that customer is central to whatever we are doing in line with our customer service proposition,” he stated.
The Head, Brand Management Unit in the bank, Angela Olarewaju, added that with ‘Better For You’ the bank management intended to tell the public that all what they have been doing in last six months was meant to serve them better.
According to her; “We are saying that anybody that does business with us can be sure of excellent value. We are saying that what we have been doing in the last six months is for better. We have reached a stage where we think we can now communicate the process and the gain that will follow to our customers.”