Bank Of America Reaches Back To 'Nam Through Music To Engage Millennials


Bank of America — GroupeConnect & Starcom 

The Challenge

Millennials are notoriously anti-bank. They’ve got PayPal and Venmo, thank you very much, and no need for checks, whatever they are. But as Gen Y ages, banks know they are going to be needed when the big expenses arrive and so they are out to win as many converts to their brand as possible.

One way Bank of America sought to drive positive sentiment among Millennials was through its largest corporate responsibility program, sponsorship of Ken Burns’ PBS documentary “The Vietnam War.” 

The Execution

Knowing that the demographic favors brands that put purpose before profit, GroupConnect & Starcom developed “Echoes of Vietnam,” an online streaming audio and video experience. It was the first-ever co-branded mixed media playlist on Spotify. 

The playlist utilized songs and stories from the past to invite participation in today’s important social conversations. Top musicians, including John Legend, The Lumineers and Dan Auerbach, covered tracks from the Vietnam era and the artists shared stories with their personal perspectives on Vietnam and relevant social issues through streamed video. 

Users unlocked playlist content by engaging in messages about the bank’s commitment to social good that highlighted its leadership in other worthy causes, like Special Olympics, equitable hiring practices, and cultural experiences. The agencies hosted a live event featuring a panel discussion, musical performance by The Lumineers, and a sneak preview of the documentary, also streamed via Facebook Live. 

They promoted the playlist extensively on Spotify and social channels from Bank of America, Spotify, and the artists. As new content was released, they re-messaged their audience to ensure they visited the playlist again and again. 

The Results

  • The message was delivered 260,000 times.
  • The playlist achieved 30,000 subscribers.
  • It was streamed for 3 million minutes, all above Spotify averages. 
  • It achieved a +7 percentage point increase in sponsorship awareness. 
  • Bank of America saw a 17% increase in positive favor, with highest lifts among Millennials.
  • There was a 25% increase in agreement that the bank supports different perspectives on important issues.

Key Takeaways

Seek a partner who can connect with your targeted demographic.

Create un-branded content that users will want to keep.

Insert branded content into a channel that is already part of users’ media consumption and collection habits.

This campaign won a MediaPost OMMA Award in 2018.

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