To raise awareness for its free checking accounts, FirstBank has rolled out a “Heli-Bus” to shuttle skiers and snowboarders to and from Copper Mountain, a ski resort 75 miles west of Denver. FirstBank, a regional bank with more than 125 locations primarily in Colorado, is Colorado’s largest locally owned bank and has additional locations in Arizona and California.
People in the 18- to 34-year-old demographic account for half of new checking accounts, Brian Jensen, svp-marketing at FirstBank, told Buzz. “We want to make sure these younger consumers are aware of our free checking accounts,” Jensen said. “The bus is a non-traditional way to get noticed by that group.”
FirstBank entered into a partnership with Copper Mountain earlier this year that besides bus sponsorship includes signage throughout the resort, on lifts and parking lots, as well as events such as a “car smashing” experience in which consumers stressed out by the cost of checking could vent their frustration by taking a swing at an old car provided by the bank.
The orange and white wrapped Heli-Bus is topped with 25-foot long “propellers” built of welded steel, foam and styrofoam. The propellers do not spin but provide a visual lift, helping the bus stand out among the many buses that ferry skiers and snowboarders from the FirstBank-sponsored parking lot to the base area of the mountain. Signage on the side of the bus reads “Heli-Skiing. Now as affordable as free checking,” along with the FirstBank logo. The bus runs every 15 minutes, 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., seven days a week until the end of ski season. Agencies: TDA_Boulder, Boulder, CO; Propeller construction: EyeCandy Sculptures, Elizabeth, CO; Wrap: Sign Language, Denver.