financial services

Ally Bank Gives Back Via 'Banksgiving'

You’ve heard of Friendsgiving, and of course, the traditional Thanksgiving holiday is Thursday, but Ally Bank is offering a new twist with "Banksgiving." 

The digital bank recently surprised its 5.5 million customers during the new holiday introduced to show its appreciation for their loyalty. During a single day in November, Ally granted wishes big and small, from $25 gift cards to $55,000 to help a customer who helps others.

The bank’s agency, Anomaly, created a heartwarming video a little over 3 1/2 minutes long that follows two Ally call center associates, Luke and Brittany, as they speak with customers about their Banksgiving wishes and travel to meet with them in person. The bank is sharing the video on its social media sites. 



"We’ve found that this kind of content connects with our customers and the general public because it feels genuine, it makes an emotional connection and is coupled with this season of thanksgiving,” Ally CMO Andrea Brimmer tells Marketing Daily. “The idea of Banksgiving is just an extension of the what our customer service associates do all day every day: doing the right thing by the customer no matter how much time that takes.” 

This campaign stems from an interaction that an Ally customer shared on social media. When an associate asked her if there was anything else he could assist her with today, the customer asked if she could have a million dollars. When the associate answered with “I wish I could give you a million dollars,” the customer shared the chat on Twitter and asked that the associate be given a raise. 

“That interaction inspired Banksgiving and eventually the great reactions from our customers that we shared in the video,” Brimmer says. “We see that today’s consumer is very discriminating about being marketed to and knows so much more about what’s marketing and what’s not. But that drives us to be more creative with how we go about things, and Banksgiving is a great example of how we’ve done that."

For the promotion, Ally randomly selected customers who called into its call center, asking them, “Is there anything else I can help you with today?” Then the company worked to grant their wishes. Gifts were personalized to reflect customers’ passions, like help with fall yard cleanup and a holiday visit to see family.

Others gifts were even larger. The bank enabled one customer in Hamilton, N.J. to visit her partner in the Netherlands, whom she hadn’t seen since May of 2016. Ally also surprised a customer in Gainesville, Fla. with an additional $50,000 to help her continue mentoring young women and deliver holiday baskets to those in need in her community.

Giving back isn’t a one-day event at Ally -- it is an inherent part of the company culture linked to its brand promise, says Diane Morais, president of consumer and commercial banking products.

“As an online-only bank, our customer service associates are an essential part of the customer experience, and they take our ‘Do It Right’ philosophy to heart every single day,” Morais says in a release.  “This video illustrates the human element when you call Ally Bank and highlights the great work by our team in taking care of our most important asset: our customers.”

Ally designates the entire month of November as “Giving Back Month,” where Ally employees get out into the communities where they live. Each employee is offered eight hours of personal time off every year to volunteer for a cause close to them. The employee's chosen charity also receives a $25 donation for each hour volunteered. 

Last year Ally employees volunteered 17,000 hours, and the company donated $800,000 through this program. This month, Ally employees will participate in nearly 190 volunteer events across the country.

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