The Bank of New Zealand was looking for ways to connect with the Chinese community – a community that was quickly approaching 10% of New Zealand’s population and set to increase rapidly over the next few decades.
The bank’s customer-led brand platform, the “Bank of You”, meant recognising and serving the increasingly diverse and multi-cultural communities that make up New Zealand. It was about being the Bank of ALL New Zealanders. Including the Bank of Chinese New Zealanders.
Only a few percent of Chinese customers change banks every year, so establishing a reputation and relationship with them would have long-term benefits.
There were many challenges to reach this audience. Traditional media often doesn’t reach them, and language barriers often make that reach ineffective. BNZ needed a way to connect beyond traditional advertising, that engaged directly and created word-of-mouth.
To create those relationships, they modified BNZ’s busiest ATMs on Queen Street in Auckland CBD to transform the Chinese New Year experience. The ATMs dispensed only fresh notes (following Chinese New Year tradition to ensure a prosperous start to the year) in branded red envelopes, making it a one-stop place for Chinese New Zealanders to prepare for the New Year.
BNZ called this initiative, The Most Prosperous ATMs. Every detail was beautifully designed with large-scale decals wrapping the ATMs and the wall behind them, using gold and red to symbolise good luck and happiness.
The ATMs had the busiest period of the year, even beating out Christmas, with hundreds of thousands of dollars of transactions. With very little money spent, the bank created new relationships with Chinese New Zealanders, built off direct engagement. And while those relationships were a long-term investment, BNZ very quickly created revenue that paid off the initial investment many times over.