CAMPAIGN: Icelandic bank secures cross-sector coverage

Icesave is an online financial brand owned and operated by Icelandic banking group Landsbanki Islands.

Campaign Launch of Icesave
Client Landsbanki Islands
PR team Kinross & Render
Timescale September 2006-ongoing
Budget £50,000

Kinross & Render was appointed to launch the brand’s first UK product, an online savings account that promised a
consistently competitive interest rate.

Objectives
To build the brand in the consumer savings market and gain positive coverage in selected media, especially online, for the official October launch. To develop the profiles of Icesave personnel, including managing director Mark Sismey-Durrant.

Strategy and Plan
Kinross & Render initially focused on the product’s attractive interest rate. In a bid to give Icesave a personality, the PR team then played up the brand’s Icelandic heritage.

It staged a pre-launch programme of briefings with key personal finance and financial services media. K&R then commissioned photography of an ice skater carving the launch interest rate into the ice-rink’s surface.

K&R sent an ‘ice bar’ on a tour of the offices of the National Magazine Company and IPC Media. It followed this up with briefings for personal finance reporters, and online and features editors – over iced tea and coffee.

Journalists also received an Icesave goody bag, containing products from supermarket Iceland.

Follow-up activity included case-study placements and a press trip to Iceland for writers from the Financial Mail on Sunday, Management Today, Moneywise and Woman & Home.

Measurement and Evaluation
Thirty magazine journalists attended the ice bar roadshow, and within a day, coverage appeared on the websites of Good Housekeeping, Web User and What Investment.

Over the first three months of the campaign, 148 items of national coverage were achieved, including articles in The Guardian, The Independent, Money Mail and The Sunday Times. Online coverage on financial websites, such as MoneySupermarket and Money Saving Expert, was extensive. Meanwhile, BBC Radio 4’s Money Box covered Icesave in two programmes, including an interview with Sismey-Durrant.

Results
Icesave surpassed its target level of subscribers for October to December by 250 per cent, and now has more than 60,000 customers with total deposits in excess of £2bn.

Sismey-Durrant says the campaign ‘exceeded all our expectations and had a huge impact on our success’.

Former Good Housekeeping website editor Fiona Flynn says: ‘I think that in a competitive market it helps to have an innovative approach, and the ice bar was a good way to keep the story fun, fresh and dynamic for our readers.’

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