So a lady called Lorraine Guyo posted a video on social media some weeks ago. In the video that then went viral she was asking guys to ask her out before Valentine’s day so she could celebrate the day with someone.
After the video went viral, some people started circulating some nude images of a girl who they claimed to be Lorraine. Of course there was a battle on social media with some defending Lorraine against the unfair attack and others pocking fun at her.
Things got bad and it was alleged that Lorraine was fired from her job at Meikles Hotel only to be reinstated after an outcry.
Mambo’s Chicken who have always had these interesting but controversial adverts snapped up Lorraine to be their brand ambassador. So did the clothing retail, Jan Jam and the new mobile phone brand, Avion. It makes sense for these brands to want to ride the social media wave like this.
They are consumer brands that are steeped in consumer culture and it was a good move for them to take advantage of the topical Nidnyengeiwo video. Also, they took the opportunity to stand behind a woman who was being attacked for posting a meant to be hilarious video. The attacks she got were unfair and of course bring to light the ever present politics of gender.
But Steward Bank
Steward Bank could not let the train just slide by. They joined in the fun and did a photo shoot with Lorraine Guyo and spewed some rhetoric about giving her a good Valentine’s… I don’t think that was smart.
I have always admired how the Cassava Smartech owned bank has sought to redefine financial services and to reach out to the masses in unorthodox ways but I think there are certain lines that you don’t want to cross.
Steward Bank must remember that they are a bank and not a celebrity who wants to show up at every party and be on every lip. Publicity doesn’t always translate to customers. By choosing to be part of every conversation they will discover that they may wake up having alienated customers and potential customers.
People want to keep their money with institutions they can trust and judge to be stable and not necessarily ones that know what’s happening on social media.
Also, as much as I believe attacks against Lorraine Guyo were unfair and that there was nothing wrong with her video, there are people who strongly believe the opposite. As in all things politics, supporting one side is equal to offending the other side. Steward Bank must learn to pick their fights.
Influencer Marketing and risk
A financial institution has to understand the importance of it’s brand. Influencer marketing is effective for fashion and similar consumption products not for brands that seek to communicate solidity. What if after associating with Lorraine today and then tomorrow she does something outrageous?
What track record does she have that they can entrust their brand with her?
Of course it could be work
End of day, marketing is as much an art as it is a science. Art is not always predictable. Maybe Ndinyengeiwo videos will be proven to work for a banking institution. After all Steward Bank have been doing this kind of thing for a while now and they now have the most accounts of any bank in Zimbabwe. I don’t know though how much this translates to deposits.
We wait to see which video goes viral next launching another regular person into the advertising world most likely spoting purple…