9 Bank Marketing Ideas for 2016

Creative Evangelist at HyperDrive Interactive I FanMail Marketing I Founder, Brill Creative

I was recently asked by Marissa Wilson of Enplug to give my thoughts on marketing for the financial industry in 2016. Below is my response. At the bottom is a link to the full article with what myself and a couple of other industry leaders had to say.


“For marketers in the financial industry, embracing new technology can be an uphill challenge. With legal and compliance chiming in and an overall mistrust of banks within the general public, it isn’t easy.

Instead of worrying about checking off their social media to-do list, or jumping on board with the latest and greatest technology, banks need to leverage their data to better understand and serve their existing client base.

We see an incredible opportunity for banks to deliver much more personalized, relevant and timely messages to their current customers. We often get so excited about using technology that we forget about the human beings on the other end. Better to understand and nurture what you have than always be looking for more.”  — Dan Brill, Creative Evangelist


Read Marissa’s full blog post here


How to Create Memorable, Shareable Emails

October 12, 2015 // 12:00 PM

How to Create Memorable, Shareable Emails [Infographic]

Written by Lindsay Kolowich | @

When was the last time you received a promotional email that made you smile, laugh, or really think? When was the last time you liked one so much that you forwarded it to a colleague, friend, or family member?

For most of us, this happens very rarely. Most consumers say the promotional emails they receive are forgettable — and definitely not worth passing on to others.

Memorable promotional emails are a dime a dozen — and yet, how memorable an email is correlates strongly with whether or not recipients forward it to others or share it with their social networks.

One big reason for lack of memorable email content? Poor mobile experience. As of June 2015, 48% of emails are being read on mobile devices … but only 56% of B2C brands are using mobile-friendly design techniques for their promotional emails.

Email marketers need to focus on creating email content that’s not only helpful, but also memorable and shareworthy. For tips on how to create more memorable emails, check out the infographic below by Litmus and Fluent.

— Article Source

Want great email marketing? If so, we should talk. Click here.

HyperDrive Announces Acquisition Of Brill Creative

HyperDrive Acquires Cincinnati Design Firm, Expanding Strategic
Creative Capabilities For Consumer Brand Clients

Pioneer of digital marketing adds Brill Creative to its roster of companies

Indian Hill, Ohio – October 11, 2015 – HyperDrive, a 15 year old digital marketing agency, today announced the acquisition of Blue Ash, Ohio, branding and design firm Brill Creative.

Opening its doors on January 1st 2001, HyperDrive is the first company in the Greater Cincinnati area to offer 1-to-1 relationship-driven digital marketing services. “We were founded on the first day of a new century based on the idea that marketing had changed fundamentally,” said Founder and CEO Dan Heimbrock. “HyperDrive started offering customer engagement, growth and retention strategies that were ahead of the curve, and they still are today,”

Also in 2001, HyperDrive established the first agency relationship with today’s leading email marketing service provider, ExactTarget (now Salesforce Marketing Cloud). Over the years, this relationship also helped spawn two HyperDrive other companies unique to the digital ecosphere – brand-fan email marketing specialist FanMail Marketing and content marketing automation software developer, StoryPorts.

Dan-Heimbrock – HyperDrive Interactive“We have a data-driven marketing mindset that believes consumers and B2B buyers deserve respect through timely, personalized and highly relevant messages from the brands they love,” said Heimbrock. “The addition of Brill Creative will further enhance our creative capabilities and we’re poised to raise the bar when it comes to delivering positive returns for our clients.”

HyperDrive believes the addition of Brill Creative adds more ways to satisfy complex client needs that require expert digital strategy, eye-catching design and targeted delivery.

Dan Brill - Brill Creative“Our creative concepts and high level design execution will combine well with HyperDrive’s analytics-driven and ROI-based strategic programs,” said company founder Dan Brill. “I feel that by working together we’ll be able to unlock untapped potential that provides quick and nimble response to client needs when it matters most.”

About HyperDrive

Headquartered in Northeast Cincinnati, HyperDrive is one of the nation’s leading direct-to-consumer marketing firms. The company develops digital marketing strategy, permission-based email marketing, CRM systems, online demand generation and creative branded experiences. Its growing client roster features Cincinnati area companies including LaRosa’s Pizzerias, Advance Pierre Foods, and Rent-2-Own; as well as national brands Dreamfields Pasta, Sysco Foods, and Crystal Deodorants. http://www.hyperdrivei.com

About Brill Creative
With offices currently in Blue Ash, Ohio, Brill Creative provides full-service branding and design services already enjoyed by a strong roster of B2C and B2B clients including Fifth Third Bank, AAA Allied Group, Transitions, Inc., and US Bank. http://www.brillcreative.com

TEDxCincinnati and Brill Creative Make it Happen

Brill Creative is proud to partner with TEDxCincinnati and the TEDxCincinnatiWomen team to bring this exciting and inspirational event to our area. Much like the TED.com founders we too believe passionately in the power of ideas to change attitudes,lives and ultimately, the world.

Visit the site, learn more, get involved or become a sponsor yourself.

5/3rd Bank “The Card That Rocks” Campaign

FTB-BC-01A_CB_CTR_5x12 Banners

Brill Creative– Card That Rocks evolution story

In April 2011 Brill Creative was asked by Fifth Third Bank to respond to a Request For Proposal. The assignment up for grabs was Fifth Third’s Campus Banking program with the objective of introducing a whole new student banking concept. The RFP indicated that the bank wanted to create buzz around this new product and develop a weekend kickoff event for college campuses. To that end, Brill Creative assembled its team and got to work.

A five-person creative gang rolled up its collective sleeves and cranked out multiple concepts during an enthusiastic, daylong work session. The intense work paid dividends when three solid concepts emerged: One Card To Rule Them All, Power To The Pupil and The Card That Rocks. Multiple sketches and rough layouts followed until final directions were chosen for each.

Card That Rocks
* special thanks to Don Marsh and Tom Holtkamp for their assistance with typography and illustration


As final executions for each campaign emerged, Brill Creative made its way to the Fifth Third tower for a high-energy, visually captivating presentation. Following the meeting, deliberation within Fifth Third ensued. A winning concept emerged unanimously.

The Card That Rocks!

This campaign was chosen based on its stylized look, extendable nature and youthful vernacular. Now, it was time to make stuff.

Brill Creative’s creative department got to work refining layouts, writing copy and arranging photo shoots and artwork. With so many elements required, a lot had to get done in a short amount of time. Nevertheless, the team delivered and final concepts were approved.

Then, it was off to Miami where Dan Brill oversaw a photo shoot for the ages. Behind the lens was none other than rock-n-roll photographer Jason Koerner. And the venue, the private gallery of a renowned guitar manufacturer, couldn’t have been a more appropriate backdrop. Four days of prep and shooting netted killer images that would bring the campaign to life.

6.3 – 6.7 – 2011 – Brill Creative To Collaborate With Renowned Music Scene Photographer

Dan Brill, Creative Director at Brill Creative, is in Miami working with one of the most highly regarded chroniclers of the rock world. A four-day still shoot for a Fifth Third Bank marketing campaign boasts the talents of Jason Koerner Photography, official photographer of the Fillmore Miami. Koerner and his lens have inventively documented many of the biggest names in music whenever they take the stage at this legendary venue. The shoot is on location at a world class guitar company’s Miami showroom.

Images were chosen and the final pieces were retouched, manipulated and built for production files. Everything came together to comprise an impressive,
multi-media campaign for the first Getting Started weekend at Cedarville University. All the elements were on display, accompanied by a soundtrack bumpin’ from a Fender amp. The event and elements were beloved by the client, students and parents.

Fifth Third Bank, Marketing, Design, Brill Creative, Cincinnati


Needless to say, the whole thing rocked. Check out the photo shoot of the event below.

Gallery: Fifth Third Bank – Card That Rocks, Cedarville University kick off photos
Thanks to all who participated in making this campaign a success. Dan Brill – President, CCO, Brill Creative, LLC

Put the partnership to work on your next project. For a no-cost, no-obligation consultation, call 513-272-1659. Or email ideas@brillcreative.com

(The high res image gallery below is temporarily down and being moved to a new server location… they will be live again soon)

Dan Brill, Brill Creative Miami photo shoot, Jason Koerner Photography, Fifth Third Bank, Marketing, Advertising, Design, Steve Zeigelmeyer


Public Distrusts Social Networks

There’s widespread concern about privacy on these networks, according to a new survey

May 25, 2010 – Mark Dolliver

The presence of one’s near and dear ones on an online social network doesn’t stop people from being wary of the network itself, according to the findings of a Vision Critical survey released this month.

Respondents to the polling (fielded online in March) were asked how trustworthy they think online social networks are. Few of the U.S. respondents said they regard such networks as “completely trustworthy” (5 percent) or “very trustworthy” (11 percent). Thirty-five percent rated them “fairly trustworthy.” Nearly half said they’re “not very” (32 percent) or “not at all” (17 percent) trustworthy. (The polling was also conducted among adults in Canada and Britain, but this story focuses solely on the U.S. responses.)

Privacy is clearly an underlying concern behind such broad distrust. Sixty-three percent agreed with the statement, “I am very concerned about my privacy on online social networks.” Fifty-five percent agreed that they “worry that online social networks are selling my personal information to advertisers.”

The survey also asked respondents whether they agree with the statement, “I don’t mind online social networks using my personal preferences to target ads I see because it means they’ll be more relevant.” Six percent “agreed strongly” and 20 percent “agreed moderately.” But they were far outnumbered by those who “disagreed moderately” (23 percent) or “disagreed strongly” (30 percent, with the rest declining to choose or saying the question doesn’t apply to them).

It’s not as though word of mouth from family and friends is regarded as gospel. Fewer than half (47 percent) rated as “completely” or “very” trustworthy “friends/family/contacts discussing or recommending a brand/product” in the context of a social network.

Despite such negative opinions, though, 48 percent agreed that online social networks “are good places for brands/products to advertise to consumers.” Indeed, 18 percent said they’ve “purchased a product because of something I saw on an online social network,” with the figure rising to 28 percent among the 18-34-year-olds.

Zippo Tries to Cash In on iPhone App

Can lighter company ignite a new revenue stream?
May 17, 2010 – Brian Morrissey

Zippo has been the case study for how to create a popular brand application for the iPhone. Now, the company hopes to turn that popularity into a new revenue stream.

The 78-year-old lighter brand has launched an in-app store that carries a line of skins for its Virtual Zippo Lighter application that will set back iPhone and iTouch users 99 cents. There are 150 premium skins, including imagery from Harley-Davidson, Bob Marley, The Who and Ozzy Osbourne. Zippo plans to add new skins each month.

Virtual Zippo Lighter launched in January 2009 as a simple application that lets users create a digital flame on their screens. It proved particularly popular for use at concerts during what the company deemed the “Zippo moment” of calling for an encore. Since its launch, the app has tallied over 10 million downloads.

While a smashing success for a brand app, Zippo can’t definitively say it has increased lighter sales, according to Brent Tyler, event marketing and promotions manager at Zippo. Site traffic has improved, though, he added.

“It’s not ideal, but that’s the reality,” he said.

Zippo is not the first brand to view the iPhone as a business opportunity. Kraft charges 99 cents for the iFood Assistant. Virgin Atlantic has a pair of premium applications: a $4.99 Flying Without Fear app and its recently released $1.99 Jet Lag Fighter.

The success of virtual goods sales on platforms like social gaming and mobile ringtones shows that consumers will shell out for virtual items so long as the price is right, said Jon Vlassopulos, CEO of Skyrockit, the developer that built the Virtual Zippo Lighter. There’s no reason brands can’t also play in the arena, he added.

“It’s a very interesting time for brands to use their marketing dollars to create new IP that’s advertising as content,” he said. “It can now become a new SKU or product beyond just communications.”

Apple "What Is iPad?"

Brand: Apple iPad
Agency: TBWA Media Arts Lab
Review Date: May 13, 2010

Great. Another iPad ad that makes me want to junk my Kindle. Amazon’s e-reader looks so sad and colorless in comparison. This new commercial from TBWAMedia Arts Lab sends me into another useless want-need internal debate. The spot poses the most basic question — “What is iPad?” A series of shots showing people using the ”beautiful” device to read newspapers and books, update Facebook pages and play music provides the answers. “There is no right way or wrong way to use it,” the voiceover says. It’s not only “crazy powerful,” but “magical” too. I can do without magic in my gadgets, but the case for a gorgeous do-all portable is compelling. Technophobes fear not — we’re informed that we “already know how to use it.” And for folks that just want to be trendsetters, “It’s already a revolution and it’s only just begun.” That’s the kind of not-so-subtle persuasion that stands to make the iPad the most culture-changing device since the iPhone. –Eleftheria Parpis

watch commercial


Born-Again Ads – The first generation of iPad marketing aims to give brands a turbo-charged sheen

May 10, 2010 – Eleftheria Parpis

Gap makes iPad play.
Michael Ancevic, svp, group cd at Mullen, is nearly as excited about Apple’s iPad as those in the publishing industry. (The only difference: his future may not depend on it.) While working on an ad that will run in a Conde Nast title on the new tablet — he declined to name the brand or magazine — he said, “We felt we were doing something that’s going to change everything. … It’s print on steroids. What if that photo came to life? What if you can see different angles of a certain product or demo it? It picks up where print left off.”

David Hewitt, mobile practice lead and cd for the Southeast region at SapientNitro, calls it “the most compelling mini-media consumption device” there is. Advertising on it, he adds, is as much about reaching the early influencers as it is about the buzz. “A lot of clients are using this as a first-to-market opportunity,” says Hewitt.

The industry has iPad on the brain, and agencies and brands alike are busy assessing ways to make their marks on the hottest new product to hit the technology sector since, well, the iPhone. Brands that have jumped in include Cadillac, which paired with trend-spotting site Cool Hunting (and BBH Labs) for an app that helps promote the CTS and CTS-V coupes, and Procter & Gamble’s Pampers, whose app, Hello Baby — its first mobile-device application — allows pregnant women to track their babies’ development.

Serena Connelly, cd at StrawberryFrog, which created the Pampers app, says that it was important for the brand to have an early presence. “Pampers wants to be present and part of innovations in technology that help to redefine mass culture,” says Connelly.

Apps are probably the easiest and most cost-efficient way for marketers to get into the iPad game because existing iPhone apps can be repurposed for the larger device. Dan LaCivita, president, Firstborn, says the agency is extending clients’ iPhone apps as well as creating new ideas.

“It all depends on the initial app itself,” says LaCivita. “If the apps can use the same functionality and it’s not a lot of redevelopment, the physics and math are going to be the same.” Size is the main issue, he adds: “For example, if you have an [iPhone] app that’s graphics heavy … we would have to redesign those images to make sure the quality is there, that the aspect ratio is correct.”

Hewitt, however, says taking the same app from iPhone to iPad is rarely optimal.
Text and graphics are going to get a little blurry, he notes, not to mention many popular iPhone apps rely on the phone’s camera and voice capabilities, features not yet available on the iPad.

Early entries that have optimized the features of the iPad so far, Hewitt says, are apps that allow users to manage their social networking, such as TweetDeck; to shop and browse, like apps for Gilt or eBay; or to watch videos, like those for YouTube and Yahoo Entertainment.

Because it’s so early in the game, the challenge, of course, lies in not knowing how much can be done on the iPad, and what will and won’t work.

“We haven’t even cracked the surface on the experiences we can create,” says Hewitt.

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