Home > Uncategorized > ING: A lesson in how to turn a suffix into a brand

ING: A lesson in how to turn a suffix into a brand

Examples of poorly-matched keyword targeted ads and article content are objects of digital advertising folklore. We can all name examples where the right (more like wrong) ad gets paired with a somber news piece, leading to a serious faux pas with a side of irony.

ING Direct, an innovator in both the digital advertising and financial services arenas, has harnessed the power of keyword targeting to reach customers in unexpected ways. Perhaps you have heard of this online-only bank before. Their traditional advertising often displays the brand name—all three letters of it—in such a way that you think there is something blocking the rest of it. No bank could possibly have such a short name, much less a combination of letters that is often the ending of a word in the English language.

The marketing folks at ING Direct are a pretty creative group of people. From guerrilla tactics involving a hot air balloon to using orangutans for attention, this team clearly has a sense of humor and willingness to play with their brand. When your mascot is a giant orange bouncy ball, you get those liberties, don’t you?

As an online bank with no brick and mortar branches (they have cafes, but that’s a different story), it’s no surprise that they are well-versed in digital marketing and where to target display ads to potential customers. It’s a bank, so anyone that has any unmet monetary needs is a potential client, so there’s no need to be terribly specific by demography, geography, or any other -graphy’s.

In this example, ING uses keyword targeting a unique way to get the audience’s attention. When you see the orange accents around the article, your eye will likely scan the page until you find the reason for the strange color differentiation. The content of the article is completely irrelevant. ING could easily use this tactic in virtually any situation—even highlighting their brand name in articles about competing banks. Come to think of it, that would be brilliant!

The first hurdle with financial services marketing is just getting attention. Money is a highly personal, sensitive topic for most people. It is a great source of stress and anxiety, and something people would rather not think about. This is one example of a bank getting noticed in a creative, fun way that, unlike traditional financial advertising, does not bog down the audience with flashy interest rates calls to action about refinancing. If you had never heard of ING before, you may not even know what service they are selling, but I bet you would be much more likely to click through that ad.

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