- Fifth Third Bank is running a social media campaign to urge people to be more responsible with their money instead of splurging. As part of its "BuyNow Blocker" effort, the bank bought ad placements that retailers typically use to entice shoppers to make impulse purchases on social media, per information emailed to Mobile Marketer.
- Instead of seeing ads for products like clothing and accessories in their news feeds, social media users may see Fifth Third's targeted ads that read, "This could have been a handbag ad" or "This could have been a watch ad." The ads are designed to make people think twice before buying an unnecessary item and urge them to save for "an absolutely necessary item," per Fifth Third's campaign materials.
- Fifth Third bank is promoting its free automatic savings products, though its branding is minimized in the ads to better emphasize the messaging on avoiding impulse buying. Creative agency Pereira O'Dell developed the campaign for Fifth Third.
While it's not unusual to see banks urging consumers to save, Fifth Third Bank's campaign tries to go against the grain with a paid social approach that urges people to avoid impulse buying and save their money. Technically, its "BuyNow Blocker" isn't ad-blocking software that prevents advertisers from reaching consumers with online display ads. Instead, it's a targeted media buy to supplant the ad placements typically sought by brands and retailers, especially with the approach of the holiday shopping season. The coy messaging could help the brand stand out among the typically shopping-related ads that fill people's social media feeds.
Fifth Third's message about responsible spending comes as many households face financial hardship amid the negative economic effects of the pandemic. The unemployment rate has fallen from a multi-decade high of 14.7% in April, when lockdowns shuttered many businesses, but is still the highest in about eight years at 7.9%. Fortunately for the economy, retail sales are rebounding strongly, but Fifth Third wants consumers to consider setting aside money for a rainy day rather than splurging.
By running the campaign on social media, Fifth Third is most likely to reach younger consumers who are heavy users of social media and tend to be elusive to traditional media channels. With many people stuck at home during the pandemic, social media usage by U.S. adults increased by an average of 9% to 82 minutes a day this year, per a survey cited by eMarketer. The researcher predicted that usage slide in the next couple of years as people resume former activities outside the home.