February 2013 Trends & Highlights – Social Media Sweepstakes, Tax Season Promotions & Online Rebranding

by on Mar 14, 2013

febIn February, a number of financial services firms across the industry introduced contests and sweepstakes to promote their products, online services and social media pages. Prizes included money, discounts, movie tickets and even vacation packages. February also saw Capital One complete the transition of ING Direct to Capital One 360  and Charles Schwab introduce a new commission-free ETF program.

Esurance Looks to the Final Frontier for Facebook “Likes”
Continuing the trend of financial firm’s incentivizing users to “Like” their Facebook page, Esurance introduced a new sweepstakes that offered two tickets to the Star Trek Into Darkness movie premiere and $2,500 spending money. Entering the contest opened up additional movie content on the page, like a trailer, a Vulcan avatar tool and downloadable posters, icons and wallpapers. In January, MassMutual promoted a contest in which users entered to win $20,000 towards college loan debt by “Liking” the firm’s Facebook page.

Embrace the Darkness Promotion
TurboTax Ramps Up Promotions for Tax Season
Several firms partnered with TurboTax to offer their clients discounts on tax preparation. Some examples included Fidelity and TD Ameritrade, which both offered $20 towards tax preparation services. PNC Bank offered clients a chance to win $5,000 for signing up for a TurboTax Online product in its Double My Refund TurboTax Sweepstakes.
Turbo Tax Promotion
Double My Refund TurboTax Promotion
ING Direct Now Capital One 360
ING Direct’s transition to Capital One 360 was completed in February, and the firm’s website featured a new red and blue color scheme to match that of Capital One. The bank left the website’s capabilities intact, but made its presence felt by rebranding bank account products and adding a banner introduce Capital One 360 to the public homepage. These changes extended into the mobile space as well, where the ING Direct iPhone and Android apps were rebranded as Capital One 360. Again, mobile capabilities were left unchanged from previous versions of the apps. Users attempting to access ING Direct apps were directed to an update or to the mobile site.
Capital One 360 Homepage
New Capital One 360 Public Homepage

Old ING Direct Homepage
Old ING Direct Site Public Homepage

Annuity Firms Continue e-Delivery Push with New Sweepstakes Offers
Allianz Life and Prudential both offered prizes to clients who signed up for e-Delivery in February. Allianz offered its clients an iPad, while Prudential offered $60,000 in prizes, including a $15,000 “Great Escapes” custom vacation package.

Charles Schwab Introduces Schwab ETF OneSource
Charles Schwab introduced Schwab ETF OneSource, a new platform offering clients 105 commission-free ETFs. Some of the fund providers included in the program are State Street SPDR ETFs, Guggenheim Investments and Power Shares. The platform also includes the new Schwab ETF Portfolio Builder, which recommends ETF investments based on a selected asset allocation model.