Bank of the West Turns Toasters into Bread

Bank of the West this month launched its spring checking account campaign in Tulsa with a little retro-style humor – the bank is giving toasters to customers who open new checking accounts and receive a debit card.
The campaign is intended to emphasize Bank of the West’s personal customer service tradition and brand using a nostalgic marketing approach.
“The toaster is a symbol from an era when banking customer service was highly personal, and high quality customer service is always in style at Bank of the West,” said Fran Lopez, chief marketing officer for San Francisco-based Bank of the West. “Our customers can expect friendly, personal, high-touch service, and hopefully see that we have a sense of humor, too.”
Lewis Jones, senior vice president and regional bank manager for Oklahoma, said the bank is “very pleased with the initial response.”
“The whole point of the campaign is not the toaster,” he said. It is so Bank of the West customer service agents “can deepen the relationship with customers, improve customer service and just touch on the points that we are trying to drive home.”
“In today’s banking environment, a lot of banks are driving customers out of the branch. ‘We are going to charge you if you come in to cash a check, or we are going to charge you if you call our customer service and talk to a live body,’” Jones said.
“We have all those products just like every other bank, and if that is how a customer chooses to bank, we are great with that. We are not going to penalize them should they choose to have face-to-face contact, and want to come in and visit with a live body, and have somebody call them by name and look them in the eye and shake their hand when they walk in the door. That is the focus of the campaign.”

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