ING Vysya has launched the Zing Accounts in its banks, targeted at kids of age 8-14 years. The proposition is to have saving accounts and ATM cards for kids as well. Watch the TV commercial below:
The campaign is quite an extensive one, involving TVCs, hoardings/OOH as well as online infotainment-based portal http://kidzzbank.com/
The strategy being adopted is an interesting one.
What the perceived strategy is:
A few kids have ATM cards –> Show it to others in the school –> Other kids too get interested and bug their parents for one –> parents give in to the demands –> for a Kids account to be opened, the parent needs to have an account of his/her own in the account
End Result : The parent ends up maintaining a savings account for himself in the bank – This is the crux of the strategy. The objective boils down to creating perfect cross-selling and up-selling opportunities. The parent now has a savings account in the bank, would visit frequently, allowing the bank relationship managers to talk to him about their numerous other financial services like Investment assistance, Wealth Management etc.
The account also provides Life Insurance cover to the kid, offers Systematic Investment Plans for parents to cover their kids’ education etc – in short, offering the parents all sorts of financial services, wooing them through the kids.
An additional bonus: The kid, when grows up will also be a target customer for the bank, needing bank accounts during graduation studies, job life etc. Everyone tends to keep their first bank accounts, preserving it like a cherished link to the past, especially if it is one that was opened by a parent for him. This is capturing the customer before the entry stage.
The kids are being wooed by the company by the concept of ‘status symbol’. They are portraying the zing cards (tastefully designed keeping specifically kids in mind) as a symbol of their independence, empowerment, smartness, and in general, setting them apart. While, to a parent, the independence and empowerment facets will be perceived as hogwash, a kid will be influenced both by the ad and the word-of-mouth through his friends. And in this buying cycle, the kid is a very strong influencer.
Another factor to give kids some more leverage points is that the cards will also include some discounts on books, toys and fast food joints.
Kidzzbank.com – A Kids’ own online banking portal, complete with personalized account statements and detailed information. I liked this aspect, because it shows that the business angle is also coupled with some knowledge-spreading initiatives about banking and its importance (leave alone the fact that at the moment the kids don’t really need it)
On moral grounds though, I don’t like the campaign. To me, it reeks of a cheap shot, using (or exploiting even) the kids to rope in parents to the bank is not an ethically spick and span strategy. It can probably be said that ICICI too has a similar, albeit more subdued program in ICICI Young Stars Account, and eventually others in the market were expected to follow suit, but that is no excuse.
Another thing that disappointed me was the theme of the TVC. The ad showcases some children being bullied by other children for money. I would have appreciated more if the zing card was shown as a symbol of intelligence and future planning.
Still, it is a pretty good strategy launched by ING Vysya. If it catches up well enough with the kids, then other competitors would have reason to worry. This is one market segment where the first-mover advantage will matter a lot, and the late entrants won’t have much market to grab from. Let’s wait and watch how successful does this strategy prove for ING.