Emigrant Savings Bank approached Songmasters with two fundamental problems affecting their long-term business prospects: more than 90% of its client base was over 65 years old and this venerable New York City institution remained a longstanding but local “metro-area” business. Songmasters created Building the Future One Life at a Time (BTF), a marketing and brand communications program that used the power of music and celebrity to reach the target demographic group aged 25 to 45 by reaching and benefitting their children “where they learn and where they play.”

BTF generated more that 180 million impressions in the New York area through a variety of branded initiatives including ads, PSAs, on-air contests to attend semi-annual private concerts by top artists co-sponsored with BTF’s media partner (WQCD/Smooth Jazz Foundation), music CD compilations, and discount programs for families at cultural institutions. Through these, Emigrant doubled its targeted demographic consumer base in less than three years. At the same time, Emigrant directly benefited Help USA/Mentoring USA,  Communities in Schools New York, the New York City Public Schools and the Department of Parks & Recreation.  Through  BTF more than 100,000 children participated in mentoring programs, family events, a jazz music scholarship program,  a 36-school Adopt-a-School Program and a citywide Adopt-A-Park Program which provided year-round support to all Parks-sponsored youth soccer programs in New York City and co-launched the Parks’ Citywide Talent Show, which still operates to this day.

The heightened brand favorability and wide demographic penetration achieved by this targeted marketing and brand communications campaign, in combination with support for good causes, created a solid platform for the launch of Emigrant’s transformative initiative, a nationwide online banking service at EmigrantDirect.com.  This opportunity emerged jointly from Songmasters’ evaluation of Emigrant’s branch bank local client base, reach and effectiveness and by a willing and innovative leadership team within the Bank ready to transition to a large-scale, digital nationwide banking effort.