Money doesn’t grow on trees. But in downtown Tampa, Fla., the green bills will be falling from the sky – a sight marketers hope will capture a lot of attention at next week’s grand opening of a new branch of $1.8 billion Grow Financial Federal Credit Union.
Grow Financial will be showcasing its new virtual money machine, which will make it look like real money is floating down like manna from heaven. The money machine is an augmented reality, motion reactive video mirror that projects images on a six-screen HD video wall.
In simpler terms, augmented reality, AG technology, is something akin to a large electronic billboard with touch screens and motion reactive video, or sophisticated gesture-based technology, which enables pedestrians to interact with what they are looking at such as graphics, images or video of dollars falling from the sky that are projected on a HD wall. AG technology apps also are available for smartphones and tablets.
“The whole outside window of the branch will feature our virtual money machine,” said Adrienne Drew, marking communication specialist for Grow Financial. “So anybody walking down the sidewalk can see it.”
And anyone will be welcome to play money games on the virtual money machine because it is a new marketing tool to engage and attract new members, though members who may need a new car loan or mortgage are encouraged to play as well.
“Since the new branch is the downtown setting where there is a lot of people walking around in the morning and during lunch, the virtual money machine is there to draw people in,” said Drew, who believes Grow Financial is the first business in Tampa to use AG technology.
Consumers can choose to either play for $25 to open a checking account, $100 for a new auto loan, and $300 for a new mortgage. Once a selection is made, money starts floating from the sky and the consumer catches as much as he or she can. Once the game is over, the money machine collects the consumer’s email address and prints out a voucher to open a checking account or apply for an auto loan or mortgage.
At the branch’s grand opening on Sept. 27, Tampa Mayor Bob Buckham and other community dignitaries will have a chance to play on the virtual reality money machine and catch bills as they fall from the sky. The money they catch will be donated to the American Heart Association of Tampa Bay, Susan G. Komen for the Cure or The Children’s Home of Tampa.
In addition to the new downtown branch, Grow Financial plans to open new branches in Lakeland and Wesley Chapel. Next year, the credit union plans to expand in South Carolina.