When an idea has legs, it takes on a life of its own. It’s embraced by others who champion, embellish, and “own” it while still keeping its central core intact. An idea with legs is every marketer’s goal, every time.
CitiFinancial, Canada’s leading alternative lender, had run a “Customer Appreciation Days” campaign for years. Giveaways and prize draws included gift cards and other small incentives, but the contest was losing steam with both customers and internal teams. For 2015, the CitiFinancial Marketing Team wanted to revamp both the campaign and the prize and opted to move from several smaller prizes to something much more enticing—the full value of 10 customers’ loans up to $10,000. So when CitiFinancial asked us to come up with a new theme for the contest and campaign tactics, we knew we needed something special. An idea with legs.
The concept had to be big and bold while still being true to the sincere and empathetic CitiFinancial brand.
The concept had to be big and bold while still being true to the sincere and empathetic CitiFinancial brand. It had to have longevity, anticipating it would run and evolve over several years. It had to be scalable, working on everything from modest statement ads to oversized in-branch posters. Most importantly, it had to motivate customers and prospects to apply for a loan, either through CitiFinancial’s online portal or at the customer’s local branch.
The creative concept was born from a deep understanding of the brand personality and a ‘think out loud’ brainstorming session. “If you win the value of your loan, is it even a loan at all?” Eureka! A loan you don’t to pay back? It’s basically the “BEST. LOAN. EVER.”
The CitiFinancial Marketing Team was immediately drawn to the boldness of the “BEST. LOAN. EVER.” And they liked the implicit intrigue the idea raised—for most readers, the words “best” and “loan” don’t often appear in the same sentence, and when they do, it begs an explanation. When the reader engages with the apparent contradiction, they realize there’s no hyperbole here, just an authentic description of the contest prize.
To bring the idea to life, we needed larger-than-life creative that matched the substantial prize.
Of employees, 96% said they were highly engaged and actively promoted the contest to customers.
Perhaps even more rewarding was how vigorously the whole CitiFinancial organization embraced the campaign. Of employees, 96% said they were highly engaged and actively promoted the contest to customers. In the field, CitiFinancial teams took the “BEST. LOAN. EVER.” concept and truly ran with it. Under the banner of “BEST. LUNCH. EVER.” teammates joined together for a high-energy working lunch. At the branch level, they shared customer-service tips as part of the “BEST. TIPS. EVER.” initiative. And the list goes on––”BEST. PURCHASE. EVER” (a retail services customer contest); “BEST. WINDOW. EVER” (a retail services employee contest); “BEST. BOSS. EVER” (a heartfelt Christmas card!).You get the idea…
The “BEST. LOAN. EVER.” contest will run again in spring and fall 2016, with legs that will likely go on for years to come.