Magazine article American Banker

Psychic Augurs Well for Chicago's Liberty

Magazine article American Banker

Psychic Augurs Well for Chicago's Liberty

Article excerpt

INVITING A PSYCHIC to augur away in a drive-up window worked out propitiously for Chicago's Liberty Bank for Savings.

Liberty staged the three-hour event to promote a new and expanded branch. More than 100 drivers lined up for divination while, inside, disk jockey Dick Biondi heralded the festivities in radio

Linda Sudendorf, who heads marketing for Liberty, said there were many more walk-ins than usual in the days preceding and following the appearances of Mr. Biondi and soothsayer Jai Savin.

The fortune telling, which went for five bucks a pop, was the eighth event the $538 million-asset thrift held to advertise the Lincolnwood office. But promotional costs were reasonable, the fivers all went to a worthy cause, and, in the end, the branch posted a healthy deposit gain.

Previously, the branch was in a leased storefront on the opposite side of the street. Liberty believed the small-bank turf war in Lincolnwood justified its highly visible promotions.

"We labored over the decision to commit to Lincolnwood with a full-service branch and, once we determined that the market supported an expansion, we wanted to make a big splash," Ms. Sudendorf said.

"There are a lot of small banks in the area, and we really have to try to eat into some of their strength."

All told, the psychic and the, DJ -- and earlier promotions such as a ragtime band and vintage auto car show, flat day, health and fitness day, kids' day, family photo day, and rock 'n'roll day -- increased by $35,000 the $137,500 quarterly marketing outlay for four-office Liberty. …

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