During the NBA’s recently completed strategic planning process, one issue that came to the forefront during almost every focus group, planning discussion, and personal interview was the need to more proactively market Nebraska’s banking industry and the positive impact Nebraska banks have on Nebraska communities, families, and individuals. It also became evident that addressing this task was going to require some nontraditional strategies, especially in reaching out and connecting with the “NExt Generation” of Nebraskans.
With the approval and support of the NBA Board of Directors, your association will publicly launch the Bank On Nebraska Challenge for Nebraska’s high school students on January 15, 2018. This statewide competition will challenge today’s young people to submit short videos recognizing and highlighting the important role Nebraska banks play in their communities, schools, and families. Students will be encouraged to upload their videos between February 19 and March 25.
Members of the NBA’s Young Bankers of Nebraska Committee will be tasked with reviewing and scoring the videos. The finalists’ videos will be announced on April 6. Subsequently, the public will be asked to vote for their favorite video online through a customized website, much like they might vote for the winners on American Idol. Students selected as finalists, along with their parent/guardian and teacher, will be invited to the 2018 NBA Annual Convention on Friday, May 4, at which time the winning video will be announced.
To encourage student participation, contest finalists will be awarded a $529 scholarship as well as a MacBook. In addition, the home school of the contest finalists will be provided $529 in unrestricted funds to be used at the direction of the participating teacher for supplies or other classroom needs. The producer of the winning video, as selected by the voting public, will receive an additional $2,000 scholarship. Finally, there will also be a special $1,000 prize for the funniest video, as selected by the YBON Committee members, and 10 randomly selected $100 Visa gift card prizes.
This video contest, as you might be thinking, is clearly outside of the box for the association and our member institutions; however, we know that today’s young people view life through a vastly different prism. The targeted students grew up during the Great Recession, when banks of all sizes were portrayed in a negative light by media sources at every turn. These students also are accustomed to relying on online platforms for their news, information, and entertainment. To help us reach this market and facilitate such a unique process, the NBA has engaged Red Thread, a Lincoln, Neb.-based, marketing firm that specializes in multimedia and fostering connections with today’s teenagers. In addition to coordinating the video contest, NBA staff has also asked this marketing firm to develop some additional materials to showcase the many career opportunities available in the banking field.
To be successful in this effort, the NBA needs help from every member institution. Specifically, we ask that you:
- Make a personal phone call or send an email to your high school superintendent/principal to promote the video contest. Material will be sent to you in early January.
- Reach out to the business teachers at area high schools and encourage them to recruit student participants. One NBA Board member suggested that local schools should give extra credit for participation!
- Openly discuss the video contest at an upcoming service club or chamber of commerce meeting.
- Proactively discuss the video contest with your bank staff so they can actively discuss and encourage student participation. A few member institutions will be offering local prizes to area students that participate.
- Include information about the video contest in marketing and promotional pieces that your institution provides to customers (and their children).
- Actively use your bank’s social media channels to promote the Bank On Nebraska Challenge, the contest website at www.BankOnNE.com, and the Twitter hashtag #BankOnNE.
- If a student features your bank in one of their videos, feel free to highlight the video on your bank’s website and marketing materials.
- Obtain a contest poster at an upcoming NBA educational program and display it in your bank.
- When the finalists are announced in April, encourage your staff, customers, and community members to vote for their favorite video. It would be exciting to see banks and communities support the student finalists with organized voting efforts.
- Attend the NBA Annual Convention to show your support for the students.
Specific details about this contest as well as contest rules can be found at: www.BankOnNE.com. Should you have any questions about this statewide marketing initiative, please feel free to reach out to me at (402) 474-1555 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Email NBA President & CEO Richard J. Baier at email@example.com.