The next street performer you see may be marketing automated banking products.

Both ING Direct and Barclays recently used outdoor performers to draw attention to new electronic financial services products.

 In the case of ING Direct, a group of dancers in orange bathing suits performed a synchronized swimming routine in a Toronto fountain to draw attention to the bank’s new THRiVE account—an online checking account. The marketing idea was produced by advertising expert Julie Stolberg.

 The dancers, whose routine was also posted on YouTube, don’t appear to mention the account during their routine—and the account is only mentioned at the very end of the YouTube video. 

In the case of Barclays, an attempt to tout the maturity of contactless payments included musician Peter Buffery, who played before crowds on a street in London.

 What was unusual about his performance was the passersby were asked to use payment cards and a specially designed guitar to execute contactless payments, which were donated to charity.

 Pedestrians were given cards, loaded with about $8, to swipe near the guitar. The bank says the exercise was an effort to demonstrate how easy contactless payments are to use.

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