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Bank of the West Power the Change

Our sustainable OOH activity with Bank of the West and Pavegen technology powered sales by 27%




How does a 135 year-old regional bank with low awareness, low consideration, and very low marketing spend capture outsized interest? For many the answer is simple: they don’t. Bank of the West, however, was determined to have customers see what made it stand out from its competitors: Purpose.


Rather than targeting the Bank’s existing retail customer base — older mass-affluent consumers — we recognized their growth engine to the future would be Millennials. The soon-to-be recipients of one of the greatest intergenerational wealth transfers in U.S. history, Millennials take vetting where they do business very seriously, with 73% willing to spend more on sustainable brands and 81% expecting brands to make public declarations of corporate citizenship. Also, according to the World Economic Forum, 90% hold humans responsible for climate change, putting their belief in sustainability projects in line with Bank of the West’s keen commitment to its customers. 

As an eco-conscious and sustainable bank, Bank of the West had recently made a $1B investment in sustainable projects such as renewable and clean energy financing. Putting in place strict financing policies against Arctic drilling, fracking and tobacco, Bank of the West is leading the change in “purpose-driven” banking. 

But we know Millennials don’t want to be told what a brand cares about – they want it proven to them.


We partnered Bank of the West with Pavegen, a technology company, to launch a sustainable OOH activation that put a spotlight on its commitment to green energy.  Installed across four major Millennial markets: San Francisco, Sacramento, Los Angeles and Portland, Pavegen’s smart tiles collected and transferred the energy created from people’s footsteps into electric power that was powered in real-time by attendees. Several were completed with first-of-its-kind LED lighted archways illustrating how simple it is to create and utilize transferable energy on a large-scale and how Bank of the West is doing its part for the community. 

Furthermore, Bank of the West encouraged user-generated content creation and social sharing to align with its audience’s desire to share experiences. Premium video content and Instagram social posts were created and amplified during and following each activation. We also aligned the brand with several local influencers with a passion for green, sustainable lifestyles to reach those outside the four cities. 


The activations garnered over 585K organic impressions on Instagram while paid social delivery exceeded benchmarks by 35% (CPM) and delivered above impression goals by 58%. This interactivity not only created an ecosystem of Bank of the West sponsored content but also showcased the bank’s commitment to eco-consciousness.  

More importantly, with a campaign focused on driving awareness among the Millennial audience, Bank of the West succeeded with: 

50% increase in brand consideration;

32% increase in household acquisition;

27% increase in total 90-day sales

Specifically, during August, Bank of the West’s median age dropped from 43 down to 36, and overall brand distinctiveness increased 8pts in 2018, the largest YoY increase in company history.