“Bank Mellat Internet turned moon; immigration to the nice and complete Internet banking system.” This phrase is the theme of the most recent Bank Mellat campaign which received many feedbacks. The campaign was designed and implemented by the Lemon Agency. To obtain further information on this campaign, we interviewed Mohsen Khoshnevisan, Deputy Director for Media and Advertising of the General Department of the Public Relations Office of Bank Mellat; Ruhollah Roshani, In-Charge of the of Publicity Office of the Public Relations General Department of Bank Mellat, and members of the Strategy and Creativity team of the campaign from the Lemon Agency (Nazanin ShahBodagh, the Account Manager, and Ali Seraj, the Creative and Art Director).
Q: Would you please explain about the inception of the basic idea of the recent Bank Mellat campaign?
Khoshnevisan: Services provided by the Bank Mellat, especially in the field of IT, has a specific place in the banking system of the country. At present, Bank Mellat has 30 million active accounts, of which a significant number use services of the IT sector of the Bank, including the Internet Banking, Mobile Bank, etc. For over a decade, the Internet Banking of Bank Mellat has been active and the clients are using the services of this sector: Services that are updated on a regular basis but have not changed in their original structure. However, recently some changes were made in this system in order to boost the quality and improve the services.
The new Internet Banking system is service-oriented, contrary to the previous system which was account-oriented. The users can easily search their service for the type of services they want and gain access to it quickly. On the other hand, the new system has the capability to personalize the services so that the users can place the services in question on the desktop of the system. Even if they do not do this personally, the smart system will put their frequently used services on their desktop. Also, after a while the system will remind the user of the services that have not been used. Another new feature of the system is smart-making in determining the type of draft. In this system there is no need for the client to specify the type of the draft, but as soon as the person enters the account number and the amount, the system smartly identifies the type of the draft.
Now with all these explanations, Bank Mellat has to migrate from the old system into the new one: An immigration that should inform the audiences about it. In order to inform the audiences, advertising companies were invited to design and run the campaign. Among the proposed plans, the one by the Lemon Agency was approved by the senior executives and the Advertising and Public Relations Committee of Bank Mellat.
Q: What was the problem and challenge of Bank Mellat in starting the new campaign?
Strategy and Creativity team of Lemon Agency: The goal of the campaign was to unveil the new Internet system of Bank Mellat and localization of this system as a dynamic, up-to-date, advanced, and user-friendly service with full featured service package and more beautiful appearance for the audiences. However, the unveiling of the new system did not mean that the old system would be questioned and rejected, but it was intended to convey this message to the audiences that the new system is more complete than the previous one and encourage the audiences to migrate to the new system.
Also, due to the growing attention of the audiences to the payment apps and distancing from the Internet banking system, it was necessary to attract the attention of the audiences to this system.
Q: Tell us about the ideation steps taken in the new campaign?
Strategy and Creativity team of Lemon Agency: The first challenge we faced in the ideation stage of the campaign was presence of similar products in other banks in the country, as well as finding a solution to show the features of the new system. The next challenge in the campaign was that the product had not been added to the Bank recently but rather it was a better and more intelligent version than its predecessor. In the process of ideation with regard to the demands of the customer that has been presented in the brief and also examination of campaigns of other banks, we reached the main concept of immigration and also, based on the customer requests in the brief, we had to consider completeness, the apparent beauty of the new system, and its smartness. At this stage, several solutions based on the immigration were presented and among all the ideas the main moon idea was considered. The moon is considered as the sign of beauty in the popular folklore and the most beautiful moon is the full moon which was presented as the original visual.
Q: In this campaign the element of moon has been used; would you please explain why?
Khosnevisan: The element of the moon raised questions in this campaign, and a great number of audiences showed reactions. Some of the clients raised this question that the moon is well-known for its beauty and the beauty of the Internet Banking is not a priority for the audiences. Why the element of the moon has been used for presenting the new services?
In addition to its beauty, the moon has another important feature. The completion of the crescent of the moon and its shining on the fifteenth night of every month is another important feature that Bank Mellat has used to show its aim. The Internet of Bank Mellat has been completed gradually in recent years. It can be claimed that at present, Bank Mellat is the most complete system of the Internet banking in the country’s banking system.
At present, all the audience groups can do their banking activities through the Internet banking. In the meantime, the audience group that uses the IOS system on their mobile phone can easily use the Internet banking without any problem. Of course, the IT Bank Unit of Bank Mellat is constantly trying to encourage this group of the audiences to use the services of the Bank through their mobile phones, but because of the sanctions and the prevailing disruptions, it is sometimes not possible to use the services through the phone and therefore the audiences can use the Internet banking.
Q: What benefits the Internet banking services of Bank Mellat have over similar service of other banks?
Khoshnevisan: All the banks in the country provide the Internet banking services. But Bank Mellat provides more complete services than other banks. In fact, Bank Mellat has provided appropriate and convenient conditions for its audiences in the Internet banking. For example if a client has difficulty with the background color of the website, they can change it. If a client regularly uses a number of services, they can select them and put them on their front page. In the meantime, a client may not refer to some of the services in that case the site automatically responds to this incident and reports it. In this notification, the audiences will be informed that there are other services they can use. When the audiences use a series of services they would forget about using other services, therefore informing them will be helpful to a great deal. As a result, the audiences can customize the page in question.
Q: Would you please explain about the teaser phase and its stages?
Strategy and Creativity team of Lemon Agency: As we came across the main concept in the ideation sessions, in order to highlight this issue, migration to the moon was turned into a teaser source and the coincidence of the beginning of the month of Ramadan with a few days after running the campaign, created more question marks in the minds of the audiences. That is to say this moon belongs to the month of Ramadan, and if so, why its countdown is not in harmony with the beginning of Ramadan. Attractive impressions were formed in the teaser phase. Is this countdown for travelling to the moon? Is this a countdown for the beginning of the month of Ramadan and several other questions? For this phase, the theme “Immigration to this month … days remained” was considered.
Q: What media did you use for this phase and what feedbacks did you receive?
Strategy and Creativity team of Lemon Agency: In this phase, a traditional media called the billboard, as well as construction of a large moon structure as a new media (guerrilla), were used. Many attractive feedbacks were formed and many questions were asked along with the moon’s structure, and also this campaign became viral in the social networks in the teaser phase. In this phase, people were allowed to approach the structure and touch it and have a feeling of closeness to the moon. Next to this month, a small billboard with the theme immigration to this moon with the countdown from 15 to 1 had been installed which established the connection between this guerrilla media with the billboards throughout the city.
Q: Please comment on the teaser phase of Bank Mellat Campaign?
Khoshnevisan: I think the teaser could convey the message of the Bank to the audiences. In this phase, we formulated a question in the minds of the audiences: A question that led to the curiosity of many audiences. Of course, the concurrence of the release of the teaser phase with the holy month of Ramadan also added to the curiosity of the audiences. Because most brands for advertisement in Ramadan use the element of moon. Now the moon element in the Bank Mellat campaign caused many clients to speculate that the advertisement belongs to the month of Ramadan and few speculated that the moon’s image was intended to introduce the new bank services.
I remember that on the first days of the release, the Ministry of Guidance contacted the Bank and asked about the number of the countdown along with the maquette of the moon. In fact, the advertising observers had thought that the campaign was related to the month of Ramadan, and had become curious that to which message and to what bank the element belonged to. Journalists and the media had also become sensitive to the teaser and all were waiting for the campaign to be launched. This part was interesting for the Bank. Somehow the target we had projected in this phase was realized.
Now, when the campaign was initiated, the audiences raised another question, asking about the use of the element of moon in this phase. An element which indicated the evolution of the Internet banking services of Bank Mellat: A bank that tried to enter into every scene in order to provide the best services to the audiences.
Q: Who are the audiences of this campaign?
Khoshnevisan: All the clients of Bank Mellat are among the audiences of this campaign: Audiences who by using the new Internet services of Bank Mellat will lower their daily need to refer to the Bank branches. The audiences by referring to this system can open new accounts. Such an event will be of great help to the environment, reduction of air pollution, and so on. Also, we invite the audiences who are not among the client group of Bank Mellat but wish to use full Internet banking services, to join our audience group and use the new system.
Q: Could you explain about the opened phase of the campaign?
Strategy and Creativity team of Lemon Agency: After the end of the teaser period, the original visual with the opened slogan of migration appeared on the billboards. For this phase of the theme, “Bank Mellat Internet turned moon, immigration to the nice and complete Internet banking system” was considered. It should be noted that for this campaign, several media were used in this phase, including the billboard, television, cinema, radio, the guerrilla media (the moon and elevator structure), activation, publications and digital media, which in general can be said that the campaign has been launched at 360 degrees in the open phase.
Q: Please explain about the campaign theme!
Khoshnevisan: A complete explanation was given about the main slogan “Bank Mellat Internet banking turned moon”. About the body of this slogan and immigration to the fine and complete Internet banking system I should say that anyway the Bank was migrating from the previous system to a new one and like any planet and any individual would not return to its previous location. The new system of Bank Mellat has been evolved and offers better services than before.
Tell us about other parts of the campaign!
Khoshnevisan: Bank Mellat has launched different 360 degree campaigns. But the Internet campaign of Bank Mellat that turned moon is something else. This campaign is more extensive than the rest of the campaigns of Bank Mellat. Of course, perhaps due to the entry into the digital marketing scene, this campaign has been wider than the rest of campaigns of Bank Mellat. On the other hand, in this campaign guerrilla activities have been carried out such as designing the elevators of the central building of Bank Mellat and some shopping centers in Tehran. In this section, the promotional design has been installed on the elevator door and inside it in a way that the audiences, upon entering, will be drowned in a message that the Bank intends to convey.
In addition, the maquette of the famous moon of the campaign has been installed in some popular places such as Baam Land, Milad Tower, Tochal, entrance of the central building of Bank Mellat (Central Bank), Abo Atash (Water and Fire) Park and the Mellat Campus.
Other activities have also been conducted to attract more audiences. For example, in some of the shopping centers the maquette of the spacecraft, interactive stand, and artwork platform of the campaign have been installed and the promoters on the interactive stand would enter into the Internet Banking and would practically teach the system to the audiences and convey the message of Bank Mellat to them.
In the same way, TV teasers, radio ads and ad logo were also designed and launched for the campaign.
What activities have been done in the digital section?
Khoshnevisan: Extensive activities have been carried out in this area. For example several competitions have been designed, one of which has been completed. In the competition which was held we asked the audiences about migration to the moon and asked them to send us a message about immigration. Any message that received the highest number of likes will be the winner of the competition which received a high welcome. Therefore, the number of winners gradually increased. The prize of the winners was telescopes: A prize which still followed the main concept of the campaign and somehow was a reminder of the message of Bank Mellat. It should be noted that the first competition was one of the most popular posts of Bank Mellat Instagram. The audiences are quite real. The contest attracted nearly 10,000 new users to the Instagram page of Bank Mellat.
Roshani: For the digital phase two Instagram competitions have been designed. The first contest has already been discussed. A second context called comrade of the moon has also been designed. In this contest, we would ask the users to mention their best friends with whom they are willing to travel to the moon. It is possible that a user mentions a number of their friends but the prize will be given only to them and their friend. Three people and three friends of them will be rewarded in the contest.
Has the campaign been run in Bank Mellat branches as well?
Khoshnevisan: The campaign poster has been installed in most of the Bank Mellat branches. On the other hand, in some branches of the Bank promoters are present who inform visitors of the Internet banking changes. These people will come closer to those who are waiting for their turn and will begin to train them if they wish so.
What were the differences between this campaign and the previous campaigns of Bank Mellat?
Roshani: Generally speaking, Bank Mellat advertising can be divided into two sections: before and after privatization. The advertising policies of Bank Mellat changed after privatization in 1387 (2008-2009): Advertisements that have taken a different approach and have always been welcomed by the audiences and those active in the field of advertising: Advertising that most often has been identified as a benchmark for comparing with the advertisements of other banks in the country. Given the feedbacks we have received, in view of the Bank it has taken a right direction for its ads: Ads that we are trying to continue differently and meaningfully.
The important point about Bank Mellat campaigns is their minimal nature observed in the campaign of the Bank Mellat Internet Banking: A campaign that has been welcomed in both the teaser phase and the open phase. The campaign created various questions in the minds of the audiences: Questions the answer to all of them was the evolution of the Internet Banking of Bank Mellat. The Internet Banking with a complete user interface and is totally different from the previous one. During the campaign, efforts were made to encourage the audiences to migrate to the new system: A system that if the audiences work with it for a short time, they would no longer go for the old system. This system has a robust and comprehensive search engine and menu and the audience, as soon as entering and search option for the service, will gain access to it and use it.
What achievements cooperation with Lemon Agency has brought for Bank Mellat?
Khoshnevisan: The design offered by the Lemon Agency was admitted by the executives of Bank Mellat from among designs of different advertising agencies. A satisfactory interaction took shape between the Lemon Agency and Bank Mellat in the course of the implementation of the campaign: An interactive that led to the formation of sincerity and good cooperation between the two parties. Certainly, implementation and designing of such an extensive campaign would have challenges but in my opinion this campaign can be referred to as one of the most successful campaigns of Bank Mellat.