Cas Client

The Smammas

Le Challenge
As Italy faced an economic crisis and youth unemployment rates of up to 40%, WeBank, an online Italian bank, asked Burson-Marsteller to help it promote the launch of a new banking and loans service targeted to young adults.

To gain visibility for the new service, WeBank needed to communicate with its target audience, young adults and their parents, in a way they could understand. In Italy, more than 7 million people between the ages of 18 and 34 live at home with their parents. Italian sons are particularly notorious for their reluctance to leave home. The Burson-Marsteller team decided that the best way to highlight Italian youths’ economic problems was through the voice of their mothers – key players of the Italian social system. Many Italian mothers are disappointed by their sons’ refusal to leave home.

So, the team created a hip hop group, “The Smammas,” comprised of exasperated mothers who wanted to reach young people using a medium they understood. The Smammas’ music video launched on social networks -YouTube, Facebook and Twitter - and resulted in the group becoming an internet phenomenon. The team then sent The Smammas to national TV programs and current affairs magazines to reach the adult audience and reveal the purpose behind their music. The integrated campaign included digital components designed to reach the youth and traditional media outreach to reach their mothers.

The Smammas campaign delivered a unique approach that provided visibility for the financial service industry and WeBank. The campaign met the bank’s product enrollment goals and resulted in increased visibility for the WeBank brand and its services on both mainstream and online media. In only two months, the Smammas official YouTube channel received 570,000 views, and the loan solutions product page received 312,000 visits.