In ecember 2018, FirstBank promoted a social media campaign tagged #FirstBankIssaVybe, #DecemberIssaVybe. It involved massive ticket giveaways to premium events in Lagos including the FirstBank sponsored Burna Live. Over 500 mostly VIP tickets, which cost from N15,000 to N50,000 – were given away and money raised for Down Syndrome when tickets to Burna Boy’s concert were slashed to N125.
The Group Head, Marketing and Corporate Communications of FirstBank, Folake Ani-Mumuney explains why #FirstBankIssaVybe was a success and what other brands can learn from it.
What is the concept behind #FirstBankIssaVybe and #DecemberIssaVybe?
#FirstBankIssaVybe was a variety performance for us. FirstBank, which has always been your partner in enabling your dreams, takes not just your financial well-being into consideration but your entire well-being by enabling opportunities for families to come together to celebrate. We supported concerts, plays, fashion, food etc. In all of those different expressions, we were making sure we supported our heritage, the value systems we believe in and created opportunities for families to bond across generations. The carefully curated experiences spoke to our ethos, what we believe in and what Nigerians would appreciate. We were not just concentrated like some other brands on specific areas, or just one name; we were true enablers across the raft, and offered variety
Why sponsor events in arts and entertainment?
We are making sure we look at so-called alternative jobs. That’s what the First and Arts platform does, beyond being the repository of our values and heritage which we mustn’t lose. We are creating jobs through entertainment and contributing to the GDP of Nigeria. In the last statistics which I think was in 2017, the creative industries contributed a good 2% to the GDP. They can contribute a lot more. We must diversify the economy and this is one of the reasons we enabled the arts and entertainment.
Why just concerts in Lagos and not nationwide?
With our partners, #DecemberIssaVybe, we were trying to curate across the country as a whole. In previous years we were fortunate enough to identify one or two events we knew were going to take place in other cities. Waka the Musical in 2017, I believe, was taken to Abuja but in 2018, Queen Moremi the Musical which was from the same production company was not. If it were, we definitely would have supported it. We were not as fortunate (as in previous years) in identifying partners who understood what we were trying to do. I think, increasingly, we would like to see a situation where, across the country we see as much (events) as we see happening in Lagos. A good 80% of the events during this past Christmas were Lagos-centric.
How do you make it up to your customers and followers in other parts of Nigeria?
On events outside Lagos, in the past we have sponsored the Igue Festival in Edo State, and for a number of years, we were headline sponsors of the Calabar Carnival in Cross River State. We still make sure our branch within that region actively participates in the carnival even though we are no longer headline sponsors. Some of these events may be powered by branches in those regions and not spearheaded from the centre but we do make sure everybody feels us
What was your criteria for brands (eg: Burna Boy) and events you chose to partner with?
We have demonstrated we have a knack for spotting trends in the creative industries. We identify those we wish to partner with for that year and they end up being the biggest names. As the foremost bank, based on our experience overtime, it should be expected. So any time you see us beginning to push a play or an alternative expression like spoken word or fringe theatres like Freedom Park, just know that person or trend is going to blow.
Would you regard IssaVybe as a success and what do you owe your success to?
It was a tremendous success because we reached a lot of our customers and had amazing feedback from social media. The engagement we had is worthy of a case study for any brand. I have an amazing team. And how they did all of that the whole of Deecember: up all night at the concerts and plays, and then the next day, they kept on going. I just think all of that was the vybe.
Going forward, how does FirstBank hope to capitalise on the publicity gained from IssaVybe?
It was not a publicity stunt. It was actually supposed to be something that would deepen capacity and appreciation of the various genres that I talked about. What we did was cross-pollination: For those who ordinarily would go to concert, when we engaged them, we were also telling them, “Don’t do only concerts; do financial literacy as well.” It was really about making sure we opened people up to new experiences. FirstBank has become the defining curator for December experience
Do you have other promos planned for each month or is this just a one-time thing?
Yes, we do. It is not that we have just started but we have always done. Throughout the course of the year, there’s a very rich and robust calendar of different things.
Will these be tied to your 125th anniversary?
This year we are definitely going to be celebrating 125 years. If you look globally, how many countries can claim and boast of having an institution over a 100 years. We want Nigerians to be proud to say actually, we have a home grown brand that stands tall with other companies out there at 125 years. We are a bank and a brand that has demonstrated, within its DNA, it knows how to reinvent itself and remain relevant through all ages. We are still at the forefront of technology and innovation through all the things we do. Very true to our name, we have introduced a lot of things first. I think there’s reason to celebrate 125 and everything we do this year would be around it.
Why the sudden push for a young, hip brand image –through #FirstBankIssaVybe for example?
What we push for is to remain around for the next 125 years. It is not necessarily about appearing cool but enabling everybody to succeed, young and old alike. We are a bank for all generations.
FIRSTBANK BAGS A HAT TRICK OF AWARDS AT THE GLOBAL BANKING AND FINANCE AWARDS 2021
First Bank of Nigeria Limited, Nigeria’s premier and leading financial services provider, has been awarded the 2021 ‘’Retail Banking CEO of the Year Nigeria’’, ‘’Most innovative Retail Banking App Nigeria’’ and ‘’Best CSR Bank Nigeria’’ awards by Global Banking and Finance magazine.
The respective awards conferred on the Bank are in recognition of the indelible roles it plays in deepening financial inclusion in the country; advancing the digital banking eco-system as well as impacting people in its host communities with technology to make learning available to individuals of all ages, amongst many others.
The Global Banking and Finance Awards reflect the innovation, achievement, strategy, progressive and inspirational changes taking place within the Global Financial community. The awards were created to recognize companies of all sizes which are prominent areas of expertise and excellence within the financial world.
With its over 750 branches and 100,000 Firstmonie Agent banking network spread across the nook and cranny of the country, FirstBank’s robust retail banking framework has been at the forefront of bridging the financial exclusion gap, thereby empowering Nigerians to carry out their financial and business-driven activities in contributing to national growth and development.
Also, in order to put customers ahead in enjoying state of the art digital banking services, the Bank’s industry-leading banking application, FirstMobile, is configured with modern banking functionalities which are regularly upgraded and designed with self-service features to ease the navigation capability and proficiency of customers to carry out their respective transactions with no hassles.
The smart banking application is also embedded with a card protection service for customers to enable and disable cards on channels, account switch off as well as second-factor authentication and device registration. With the upgraded FirstMobile, customers can remotely initiate the request for a new debit card as well as the replacement of a lost or damaged one.
Woven into the fabric of society for over 127 years, overcoming challenges and remaining a dominant player in Nigeria’s financial services landscape, FirstBank has been partnering and supporting various sustainable activities towards the continued growth of its host communities and the nation at large.
As a responsible corporate organisation committed to supporting all its stakeholders in the most sustainable manner possible, the bank partnered with various state governments through the private sector-led Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID) intervention to promote the readiness and efficiency of health care professionals and other compatriots at the forefront of fighting the pandemic.
The Bank also forged a formidable partnership with the Lagos State government, Robert & John, IBM and Curious Learning amongst others to promote e-learning of school children that were affected by lockdown at the height of the pandemic. The initiative is still enjoyed by thousands of individuals, irrespective of age.
Dr. Adesola Adeduntan, the CEO of FirstBank commenting on the awards said ‘’we are proud to be recognized with these awards, which speak to the investments we have made over the past years in bolstering our electronic platforms for our customers; enhancing financial inclusion through agent banking as well as empowering our communities in the education space especially by bridging the digital divide through e-learning initiative.
These awards are dedicated to all our customers, as the trust they reposed in us being their bank of first choice in meeting their business and financial needs has been instrumental to the success we have achieved in our existence of over 127 years. We remain committed to putting You, our customers First as we contribute to the growth and development of our host communities” he concluded.
THE VOICE NIGERIA: FIRSTBANK IMPRINTS IN ENTERTAINMENT, YOUTHS DEVELOPMENT
By Israel Bolaji-Gbadamosi
One of the key metrics that well defines a truly 21st century brand beyond profit making is its ability to connect with customers and stakeholders as a complete enabler, touching on vital aspects of their lives, creating exciting memories and enabling them to access more enjoyable and convenient lifestyle, in shopping, studying, working, traveling, family living, entertainment and aspirations.
Its ability to also give back to the community through tangible corporate social investment programs that significantly translate to improved living and not just mere formality and publicity stunts is also pertinent.
First Bank of Nigeria Limited (FirstBank) is giving a good account of itself in this regard not only as a truly financial powerhouse but also as a life enabler, helping Nigerians live better and achieve their dreams.
In retrospect, banking, decades ago, was essentially about providing financial services and products to merely aid customers’ financial transactions. However, the smart ones are indeed changing the game. Not only is the envelope being pushed to ensure that the unbanked are banked through financial inclusion offers even to the remotest villages, FirstBank has taken banking to another level. Backed by superior technology firepower and capacity, it is assisting not only adults but also Nigerian youths to live better and fulfil their dreams.
The Nigerian nation and the most populous black nation of the world indeed has a youths bulge as observed by many experts with a growing army of young and vibrant people below 25 years of age constituting over 60% of its 200million population! While an unrelenting rate of unemployment, weak economy, soaring inflation and despair appear to dominate the national mentality, many youths are finding solace in entertainment, breaking the ceiling with their creative ingenuity, shunning out award winning hits and in fact making global headlines in music and other entertainment offshoots like movies, comedy skits and contemporary dance.
Nigeria’s 29 year old singer, Damini Ogulu popularly called Burna Boy in March shocked the world winning the world’s most coveted Grammy Award in the Best World Music category during the 63rd annual edition in Los Angeles Atlanta while another 30 year old Nigerian artiste, Ayo Balogun aka Wizkid was also a co-winner in the Best Music Video category for Beyonce’s Brown Skin Girl. These young Nigerian global music icons were raised and honed their skills in the suburbs of Nigeria through home grown competitions and platforms.
Music reality shows have also unveiled and nurtured music and entertainment talents like Timi Dakolo, Iyanya, Praise, Omawumi and other A-list musicians in Nigeria. This is why FirstBank’s intervention and sponsorship of a music and youths talents harnessing platform like The Voice Nigeria is strategic and instructive, and quite capable of helping to harness and nurture music and entertainment talents into celebrated musicians, make global stars of Nigerian youths, and truly help them achieve their dreams. Obviously, Firstbank has been a prominent force visibly empowering talents and the nation, and without the much-needed lifeline, many young talents would be taking to crime or other vices.
For over 127 years, the premier bank has been at the forefront of nation building; supporting through resourceful partnerships to build the Nigerian creative industry value chain which contributed 2.3 per cent (N239 billion) to Nigeria’s GDP in 2016 (NBS).
The bank’s support for the Voice Nigeria is also a demonstration of its commitment to contributing to the projected revenue of US$86m by 2021 from the Nigeria’s music industry aimed at promoting a diversified economy in line with the Federal Government’s diversification policy.
The bank assured that it has given voice to Nigerians for the past 127 years, and will continue to give voice to Nigerians by creating employment, economic empowerment in the country through its products, services and initiatives and it remains committed to strengthening the creative industry which is fast growing into a multibillion-dollar business, with potential to be a leading contributor to Nigeria’s GDP in the near future.
In fact, FirstBank has the network; reach and digital capability to enable the Voice. With its agent banking network across the nooks and crannies in country, it is helping in the search for the talent that will become a true inspiration to all.
True to the name, the Voice Nigeria has lived up to its promise, as it offers exciting and relaxing entertainment to families, music lovers, and other entertainment loving Nigerians who look forward to fresh seasons and episode of the well-crafted music program.
Now in its season 3, the Reality TV show has been a masterpiece in the last six episodes of the current season as viewers are serenaded by several awesome performances and display of raw talents on the show’s blind auditions which ended on Saturday, May 1. The episode ended with raging emotions, exhilarating sensations and blistering anticipation as the four judges – Falz The Bad Guy, Waje, Yemi Alade and Dare Art Alade had one final opportunity to forge their winning team.
So far, the coaches, hosts, producers and amazing talents have been a great delight to watch. They have been awesome with their good-natured banters, hilarious drama, top-notch fashion, electrifying opening performances, talent courting speeches, and chair turning and bell thumping spectacle. The optics is exciting! The expectation on the show has been so intense; you could cut with a butter knife. The coaches’ approach at winning talents over to their team has been fun and a fine blend.
There were no holds barred, as the judges were very warm, animated, upbeat, inspiring and full of energy. They were definitely not a team of avuncular examiners waiting to pass judgments. They brought much gusto and effect to the big stage! While Falz threw up his magical comic card severally, Dare maintained the cool dude posture while Yemi and Waje both brought on the alluring feminine appeal with Waje sometimes speaking in Igbo to convince a talent. In all, they fared well, each getting a fair share of talents to mentor and their combination depicted a perfect combo.
The talents on their part have not disappointed viewers. They came in different shades across both genders, with varying voice textures, mix and pitches – smooth, silky, velvet, shrill, husky, coarse or simply rough. And to the best of their abilities, they did justice to many songs, including some classic tunes and old hits. The creative fusion of multiple genres of music by some smart talents who beautifully delivered unique blend of music made good impressions which won the judges hearts. The awful looks on the faces of those who the judges would simply not behold, having failed to captivate their attention with the voice. The uncontrollable joy of those who got the bell ring and standing ovation and the incredible looks on their loved ones who came to show support. Not forgetting the jazzy presence and reassurances from the co-hosts including Toke Makinwa and Nancy Ikime which also complimented the soothing potpourri.
Interestingly, FirstBank made some smart moves on the show, with the bold inscription of “This is the moment you have been waiting for, Time to put You First”, clearly displayed at the entry of the contestant for the stage performance. This reinforces the bank’s thrust as an inspiration to motivate the talents and youths at large to excellence. It has also promised viewers mouth-watering prizes just by watching the show regularly and following updates on FirstBank verified social media handles.
Now that the Blind auditions stage has come to an end, it is game on! The next phase of the show is the highly anticipated Knockout Stage which starts on May 8. In this stage, the coaches will select the most outstanding talents to proceed to the battles. In this stage, there is so much to come and fans will certainly not be ready for all that is in store.
More than ever, the show’s fans are hopeful that the knockout stage will even be more entertaining but that will certainly not be a challenge with the dexterity of the handlers so far.
With all that has been seen so far, it is difficult to believe that this is only the beginning; it is certain that there is so much more to come.
10 Customers set to Become Millionaires in UBA Savings Promo
Pan African Financial Institution, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc has announced that 10 of its loyal customers will get a chance to win N1,000,000 each, in the ongoing UBA Savings Promo which is scheduled to hold on to May 7, 2021 at the bank’s corporate head office, in Lagos.
This unique promo intends to appreciate loyal customers of the bank, who have stayed with the bank over the years, and will also offer fresh opportunities for potential and intending customers to join the growing number of UBA millionaires who have in the past benefitted from the ongoing Promo.
To qualify for the draws, new and existing customers of the bank are expected to save N10,000 monthly or N30,000 at once for 3 months; before each draw date. Savings account holders eligible for this draw include Target, Bumper, Next Gen, Savings, Teens & Kiddies).
Some past winners who cut across all regions of the country and have previously benefitted from the promo include; Nnadumije, Ebube Dawn; Onwochei Christiana Okwukwe; Eze Mathias Nnaji; Christian N Orie; Uka, Okwudiri; Okata Stephen Uche; Okafor Onyinye Esther; Nwanekezi Chimezie Jude; Ayomide V Yahaya and Olanegan, Oyetunde Keji.
Others are Emmanuel Onu Chidozie; Mohammed Fatima; Aminu, Mustapha; James Nanre; Pahinti Albert; Emmanuel O Adeniji; Jaki Movihinze Mercy; Saminu Muritala Mohammed; Ezeh Raphael Uballa; Uchenna Iheji. Already the winners have claimed their cash prizes and are currently spreading the news so others can take advantage of this once in a life time opportunity.
Speaking ahead of the forthcoming draw, UBA’s Head, Personal Banking, Ogechi Altraide, said that without a doubt, UBA’s passion for the growth and overall success of its customers cannot be overemphasized, adding that this has consistently been proven in numerous ways. She explained that the bank has consistently invested in cutting edge technology to improve its service delivery and its overall aim of delighting customers.
She said, “With customer-centric promos like the UBA Savings Promo, we have created an ever increasing list of millionaires who continue to join the UBA customer millionaire club. For this edition of the promo, we decided to pick the month of May, which is the month that workers are celebrated across the world for their efforts at contributing to the growth of the economy. We know that this promo will put lasting smiles on the faces of our customers and will also assure them that UBA truly values them’” Altraide said.
UBA’s Head, SME Banking, Sampson Aneke, spoke of UBA’s continuous commitment to give back to its customers especially during these challenging economic periods, where people need all the support they can get to make life more meaningful.
“With this in mind we decided to prioritise them in as we always do at UBA, by giving them plenty to cheer about and that is the reason for the Promo. I have been privileged to visit some of the customers who won in January, and we were more than fulfilled to see happiness and gratitude on the faces of the lucky ones when their cash prizes were presented to them. That feeling is special. So I enjoin those who are yet to join the winning team, to do so. You never can tell, the next big millionaire could be you,” Aneke said.
United Bank for Africa Plc is a leading Pan-African financial institution, offering banking services to more than twenty-one million customers, across over 1,000 business offices and customer touch points, in 20 African countries. With presence in the United States of America, the United Kingdom and France, UBA is connecting people and businesses across Africa through retail; commercial and corporate banking; innovative cross-border payments and remittances; trade finance and ancillary banking services.