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A simple thank you can change someone’s day. TD Bank went a step further to thank over a dozen customers in a special thanking experience at their local branch through the Automated Thanking Machine, “ATM.”
On the week of July 21, 2015 over 20,000 employees across Canada distributed green envelopes containing a $20 bill to every customer in more than 1,100 TD branches. Additionally, thousands of others using TD phone and online banking service were informed that whey would receive a deposit directly into their accounts. A total of 30,000 customers were surprised and delighted. Free money was indeed the best money that week for the customers.
That wasn’t the end of their efforts; alongside running this campaign they made a viral video called “Sometimes you just want to say thank you #TDThanksYou.” In this video a dozen customers experienced the ATM, many were shocked to receive gifts given like money given to a child, a vase of flowers for a woman, plane tickets for a mother to see her daughter who is struggling with cancer or tickets for a Toronto Blue Jays fan to throw the first pitch at a game. All alongside these actions in the video was soothing and uplifting music. When it is all put together, it promotes emotion in the viewer.
But why did this video acquire over 22 million views and thousands of shares? Jonah Berger, author of “Contagious: Why Things Catch On” describes how things become viral, including “public” and “storytelling.”
First, TD Bank used the public – not just simple actors. That factor gave the video an element of realism. It involved the public and spread to the public – capturing every emotion along the way. The act of giving away something to someone else is an honorable act, one that people always want to enact in their own lives everyday. However, the acting of giving something away without any sense of reciprocity is not of the norm nowadays. Graciousness to the ones that who are not as fortunate was the central message in this video. Not only that, but the stories that the people shared while this was occurring was what truly made the video.
As described by Berger, the story behind a campaign is what makes things popular. If a heartwarming and emotional story is the basis of a campaign, it will most likely catch not only the eyes but also the hearts of the audience. TD Bank captured the stories of multiple customers. The most popular story was the old mother whose daughter had cancer and just gone through surgery that week. She first showed weakness, but seemed uplifted after the experience. One lady, after receiving flowers said, “Never in my life have I ever had such a beautiful surprise.” TD Bank hoped for the audience would feel the same sense of happiness within themselves because of these customers, as Berger would say, “that is the magic of stories, Information travels under the guise of what seems like idle chatter.”