Bankers constantly fret about how to get customers into the branches since face time with a teller or sales rep is the best way to sell products and services and deepen the customer relationship.

Senior leadership at Fifth Third Bank faced this quandary after opening a string of de novos and expanding through acquisitions. What they hit upon to grab the attention of the public is to give away money-a quarter-of-a-million dollars worth.

“This campaign is a little bit different than some of the things that we have tried in the past,” says the bank’s Chief Marketing Officer Larry Magnesen. “We’ve been fairly active in the last few years in opening de novo banking centers in some of our key markets such as Chicago, Orlando, Tampa Bay, Nashville, etc. We wanted to see if we could put in a new program to put that plan [of building branch traffic] into hyper drive. The idea was to use something that would appeal to anyone, in this case winning a quarter of a million dollars, to get people who didn’t even think they were in the market for a financial product to come in and see us.” …more from U.S. Banker. Flickr photo credit: Shoshanah