Bank Gives Out Estimated 32 Million Pens
In 2010, Huntington Bank, Columbus, Ohio, hoped to create a "welcoming" image through a rebrand, and part of that effort involved unchaining the pens at the bank. After doing so, the bank estimates that it has given away nearly 32 million Huntington Bank pens.
The pen giveaway was part of a larger effort, involving new policies, bank renovations and promoting new account features. The bank's leadership team decided to not only unchain the pens from the desks, but give them away, according to Columbus CEO.
"We encourage our customers to take a handful," Mary Navarro, Huntington Bank's senior executive vice president and retail and business banking director, said to Columbus CEO.
At the beginning of the campaign in 2010, the bank gave out around 331,000 pens monthly. Now, that number has doubled, bringing the grand total to around 32 million pens.
Paul Bellantone, president and CEO of Promotional Products Association International (PPAI), told Columbus CEO that promotional giveaways, such as Huntington Bank's pens, can provide brand awareness and repeat business.
"PPAI research demonstrates the power of promotional products as the most cost-effective way to reach a targeted audience in a tangible, long-lasting and memorable manner," Bellantone said to Columbus CEO. "In fact, 88 percent of people can recall the company and brand on their promotional product."
Cris Wise, manager of the Downtown Columbus branch of Huntington Bank, told Columbus CEO that the pens have been such a big hit that he takes them to client visits.
"It's the first thing they ask about," he said. "They expect it."
Navarro said that she has spotted the bank's green and black pens as far as Spain and Costa Rica. Other employees have seen them in at least one movie and on a television show. The pens have even turned up in other banks' lobbies and at restaurants.