4 reasons why Sterling Bank is the biggest winner in the ‘Bank Wars’

It was a typical Friday evening, the sun was gradually retiring behind the clouds while darkness crept out of hiding, spreading its sheets across the sky. While people were either on their way home or already settled in for the night, the creative team at Sterling Bank decided to drop a Bomb Shell which will eventually erupt into a wildfire which has proven difficult to checkmate even three (3) days later.
Sterling Bank posted a creative on their Social Media Channels making a mockery of Fellow Banks such as First Bank, Union Bank, GTBank and Access Bank. While Instagram is yet to catch up with the virality of the highly creative idea, it has gone ahead to cause a drama on Twitter; the mother of Social Media virality. Banks such as First Bank, Union Bank, and Access Bank has gone ahead to reply to Sterling’s provocation, further fueling the brouhaha, GTBank, on the other hand, has kept mute so far, I suspect they are shooting an Anti-Sterling documentary that would be rolled out this week, GT is always extra; even with debit Alerts (Lol).
So far, all of the Banks involved in this drama has trended for at least 36 hours apiece and counting,  Sterling Bank, on the other hand, has been trending on Twitter from the same evening it posted that inflammatory Ad material till now, this would amount to an estimated period of 60 hours.


Who is the biggest winner in all of these?

While Digital Campaigns may not be as expensive as Traditional ones, they certainly do not come cheap either, especially for big financial houses as Sterling Bank.
1. In terms of brand recognition and awareness, Sterling Bank has been able to achieve impressions, engagements, and TOMA which ordinarily would have cost them tens of millions of Naira to achieve. Trending on Twitter for 3 consecutive days does not come cheap and I can hardly recall any brand who has successfully done this within the past year. Also prior to this move by Sterling, I could mention names of 10 Nigerian Banks without ‘Sterling Bank’ ever occurring to me, but as it stands, they are at the moment more or less the No1 Bank Brand on Everyone’s lips, not necessarily for the right reasons, but certainly not for the wrong reasons either.
2. Although one can roll out a humongous budget and get social media saturated with their Ad, nothing beats the beauty and appeal of organic content which eventually attains a viral status. So far, Sterling Bank has been able to achieve virality not by forcing a boring Advert material down our throats, but through sheer creativity and genius. This organic virality counts for more.
3. Have you realized that Sterling Bank went for clear Market leaders who have been predominantly Pro-Digital within the past year or more? These Banks are also popular among the Youths and indeed dominate the Millenial Banking Market, you may not have considered it from this perspective, but even Sterling’s choice of Banks to banter was genius. They did not bother with Banks who were below them; that would amount to free publicity, instead, they went for those whose popularity would rub off on the Sterling Bank Brand. Everytime a First Bank, Union Bank or Access Bank replies Sterling Bank, they create Awareness about Sterling Bank amongst their own Customers and Social Media Fan Base, even for a GTBank that has so far refused to respond, it’s silence has been a source of speculation with the Sterling brand at the center.

Nigeria Banks Profit 2017

4. While I honestly do not think a lot of people have opened new Accounts with Sterling Bank following this event, I, however, will be unrealistic not to know that a couple of people would have done so or hope to. Considering the fact that asides from the fee paid to the Agency or Creative who handled that design, no other expenses has been made, I will consider every single Account opened as a result of this drama a big deal and a win for the Guys at Sterling Bank.


Inasmuch as I strongly believe that at this point, Sterling Bank should have found ways to channel all of this visibility towards conversions (gaining paying customers), I will not intentionally overlook the fact that they have already done one thing right; pulled off a little or no budget, organic-driven, masterpiece Awareness Campaign. What they decide to do with all of this buzz is left to them. At the end of the day, I believe the #BankWars as we now know it is a win-win for all parties involved, with Sterling Bank emerging as the biggest winner.

Favour Onyeoziri

Favour has interests which span across creative writing, advertising, and Digital Marketing. He holds a BA.Ed in Education and History from the University of Lagos, Nigeria. He is a published Poet, a practicing Advert Copywriter, a social media marketing expert, and Influencer. Oops, lest we forget, he loves comedy too and is better known as the Memes master on Twitter where his memes have constantly lightened up the mood of hundreds of thousands of people daily.

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