TD Bank Crafts Viral Success with Personalized ATM

A surprised TD Bank patron gets a personalized gift from a special ATM.
A surprised TD Bank patron gets a personalized gift from a special ATM.

Clients and organizations want exciting, viral marketing and PR campaign ideas. At the same time, they don't want to recreate their established brand personalities. It's a problem communications professionals often grapple with, pitting imaginative (if not unconventional) campaign ideas against refined, guarded reputations.

Getting that hit campaign without going outside of your organization's comfort zone can be difficult. TD Canada Trust—TD (or, Toronto-Dominion) Bank's personal and small business subsidiary in Canada—totally dodged this problem with their most recent marketing campaign. Their avoidance of it bears out the campaign's brilliance.

As part of its #TDThanks campaign, the bank installed "Automated Thanking Machines," modified ATMs designed to give unsuspecting customers personalized gifts, in branches across Canada. According to the bank, branch employees helped design individualized thank-you experiences for specific customers.

One Toronto Blue Jays fan who used the Thanking Machine was given a shirt and cap before being surprised by outfielder Jose Bautista, who invited him to throw out the first pitch at an upcoming game. Another woman was gifted tickets to Trinidad to visit her daughter, who had recently undergone a cancer operation.

These customers and others are featured in a video the bank shared on YouTube, which you can view here:

The #TDThanksYou video was uploaded a week ago and currently has nearly 3.5 million views on YouTube, making it a massive success. Using an ATM—one of the most common feature of any bank—as their delivery device helped TD Bank conjure the surprise moments that make their video so heartwarming. From a communications standpoint, that's a great lesson in using what you already have in a creative way.

Follow Brian Greene: @bwilliamgreene