so the lovely and awesome Zaac posted a link to my wall of the above effort from Bendigo and Adelaide Bank. it's called PlanBig and, in it's own words, its…
"… a way for people to get together to make things happen and make a difference. We [Bendigo and Adelaide Bank] believed that there was some real value in giving people the chance to come together in one place to talk about ideas, share inspiration, offer advice or help make things happen for themselves or someone else. PlanBig brings together the experiences, knowledge and expertise of people with different skills from all walks of life and all ages to help each other get ideas kick started."
it's a delightful and instinctively attractive platform, which elegantly ticks a range of boxes including – amongst others – socialisation, co-creation, crowdsourcing and gamification. it also has a elegant and seamless execution that connects with the Book and other social platforms… the badges-as-reward effort has been borrowed from FourSquare, as has the Book's Like concept (in fact the functionality is a bit like a social network functionality greatest hits, which isn't a bad thing – better to use functionality with which we're familiar … makes it more, well, functional).
as the site observes, "Bendigo and Adelaide Bank feel so strongly about helping people realise their dreams, they’ve been doing it in local communities for over 150 years" … so this platform is just a natural extension of a brand proposition that's been in market for over a century.
it's also another example of the owned and earned media combo (note the absence of bought media) to create (1) utility (2) meaningful connections with a community of people and (3) content ripe for the amplification – if even a few of these ideas get big it will be marketing gold-dust. all of which makes a great deal more sense to me than buying a shedload of ads telling people what competitive lending rates you have.
this genuinely feels like a brand / product extension with sociable and marketable assets built in from the ground up. it's a communication for people, by people, and its infinitely better for it. good on 'em.