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March 4, 2015   |   In the News

Fifth Third Bank Study Finds Chicagoans Pretty Impatient

Chicago Tribune 3.4.15

Patience may be a virtue, one apparently in short supply in Chicago.

Most Chicagoans burn themselves on too-hot pizza, repeatedly press already-lit elevator buttons and won’t give that slowpoke more than a 10-second window before hurriedly passing on the sidewalk.

And the city may lead the nation when it comes to quick hang-ups after being placed on hold.

Those are just some of the findings from a survey commissioned by Cincinnati-based Fifth Third Bank in conjunction with a new advertising campaign to promote its mobile banking services.

For those who can’t wait, here is the study’s conclusion:

“What we found out was that people are just incredibly impatient,” said Larry Magnesen, a spokesman for Fifth Third Bank.

The study was conducted in January by Wakefield Research, which surveyed 1,000 adults nationally, plus 400 each in six target markets: Chicago; Orlando, Fla.; Cincinnati; Nashville, Tenn.; Charlotte, N.C.; and Grand Rapids, Mich. Topics ranged from how quickly drivers honked after the light turned green to how long elevator riders waited before pushing the button to close the doors.

Topping the results was the revelation that 96 percent of Chicagoans will bite into a hot pizza knowing it may burn their mouth. That is on a par with the national average. But add a molten mass of deep dish to the equation, and the self-inflicted scalding can be epic compared with a New York thin crust.

“As we started thinking about the campaign and some of our new features that are really designed to address the impatience that we all have, we all started joking about the things we were irrationally impatient about,” Magnesen said. “So we decided to commission some surveys, and we took our own behaviors to find out how often those things occurred.”

The bank’s new campaign, “Escape the Wait,” focuses on mobile features for tasks such as paying bills, checking balances and making deposits, all intended to speed up the banking process. Created by Chicago ad agency Leo Burnett, the campaign will run through March and includes TV, radio, digital and outdoor ads.

Fifth Third, which brands itself as “The Curious Bank,” spent $17.1 million on advertising through the first nine months of 2014, down 36 percent from the previous year, according to Kantar Media.

One TV spot features a woman waiting in line to renew her driver’s license with her baby in a carrier strapped to her chest. Before she gets to the front of the line, her baby is an adult. Radio spots take the guise of personal relaxation tapes, set everywhere from grocery store checkout to airport security lines, urging serenity in the face of universally frustrating waits.

The spots are running heavily in Chicago, where 20 percent of residents consider themselves impatient, more than any of the target markets except Nashville, which came in at 23 percent. Nationally, 21 percent of respondents said they were impatient.

Chicago’s impatience bubbled over in several areas.

Some 62 percent said they would hang up within a minute of being placed on hold, well above the national average of 51 percent.

When a floor button is already lit on an elevator, 60 percent of Chicagoans will press it again.

And 57 percent said they would pass someone walking slowly on the sidewalk, blowing by every other city surveyed and the national average.

Chicago fared a little better behind the wheel, surprising Magnesen, who grew up in west suburban Elmhurst.

Charlotte drivers are quickest to hit the horn after the light turns green, with 57 percent owning up to the behavior. Chicago is at 55 percent, the national average.

Charlotte also led the way in speeding, with 96 percent opening up the throttle to save time. Chicago came in at the national average of 91 percent.

“We thought Charlotte, being a little more Southern, would be a little more patient,” Magnesen said. “Maybe it’s the NASCAR tie-in.”

Chicagoans also are a little more patient when it comes to waiting for a table at a restaurant, with 43 percent returning to check with the host within five minutes after their promised seating time has passed. Nashville tops the list of impatient diners at 52 percent, the survey said.

In the end, a binge-watching, button-pushing culture of impatience is pervasive, Magnesen said, cutting across all demographics and markets.

Whether Fifth Third’s campaign wins new customers in Chicago, the bank will just have to wait to find out.

Source: Chicago Tribune