Yesterday was one of the most important days in the land. The Minister of Finance, Pravin Gordhan presented the budget for the 2017 fiscal year. The budget speech sets the tone for the year, as to how government will spend money and aim to address socio-economic challenges such as high-unemployment rate, education amongst others. Above all, how the changes will have an impact on an average consumer’s pocket.  Experts in the finance industry also made speculations prior to the speech as to what the minister will say about various economic factors. Some were on point and some completely missed it. There are already missed reactions on the actual budget speech as usual. Be it as it may, we can only remain positive as a nation and move forward.

In the midst of the budget speech, some brands particularly the banks saw an opportunity to increase brand awareness online. Here is how the four major banks in the country leveraged on the budget speech:

1. ABSA – The bank owned the #Budget2017 by promoting the hashtag on Twitter.  The hashtag trended number one on Twitter for the whole day. If you were to search #Budget2017 you will see an ABSA ad at the top.

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2. FNB – Instead of promoting a hashtag, FNB focused on pushing of FNB branded images around the budget speech from the beginning to the end of the Minister’s speech. The aim was to highlight the key points in the budget speech.

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2. Nedbank – They ran a Budget Speech competition in partnership with Old Mutual. The competition was aimed at economics students registered at recognised institution of higher learning in South Africa either studying full-time or part-time. The winners were announced yesterday.

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4. Standard Bank – The whole News 24 site was painted blue yesterday, all thanks to Standard Bank. On the popular news site, the bank put up digital banners highlighting the budget speech and also a call to action for the visitors to site learn about budgeting and the investment and savings packages that Standard Bank offers.

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It is important for brands to start targeting major events such as the Budget Speech to boost brand awareness particularly on social media as it is cost effective. The banks get a Pat for taking initiatives to leverage on the budget speech as it is aligned with their industry. Even though the banks got brand awareness, consumers also benefited from the initiatives as they get informed.

Remember to leave your comments below about your thoughts on how the banks acted on the budget speech. And if you like this article, please SHARE IT! Don’t forget to in-touch with @PatOnBrands on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and SnapChat.

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Thokozani Patrick Mahlangu

Thokozani Mahlangu is an internationally certified digital marketing professional and an Mcom Business Management graduate from the University of Johannesburg. He is the Chief Brand Creator of Pat onBrands and Pat onFitness- a fitness movement through which organizes weekly runs under the banner #RunWithPat.

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