Best Viral Campaign← Go back to category
About this entry
With thousands of customers throughout the greater Philadelphia region, 3rd Federal Bank’s bright green signage and beloved 3rd Fred mascot are instantly recognizable to many in the community. A brainchild of the bank’s marketing team, the “Where’s Fred” social media campaign incorporated active Facebook, YouTube and Twitter components to help tell the story of 3rd Fred’s disappearance and transformational, worldwide journey. The campaign encouraged site visitors and bank customers to help find this cherished creature and return him to the bank in time to officially celebrate its 90th anniversary this September.
The case for why this entry should win a Shorty
Originally conceived to help Fred trade his traditional mascot costume for one more animated and fun, the “Where’s 3rd Fred” campaign kicked off during the Bridesburg Memorial Day Parade in Philadelphia, where Fred was marching with other bank employees. In a flash, he was gone – swooped up into the crowd – and then nowhere to be found. And so began Fred’s long journey throughout the world, documented by Facebook updates, YouTube “news” videos and Twitter posts. During the course of the campaign, Fred was spotted everywhere from Philadelphia Phillies games, to the pyramids of Egypt, to the running of the bulls in Pamplona, Spain. In one of the last YouTube videos before Fred was found, the U.S. Secret Service even joined in on the search.
Since it began, 3rd Federal Bank’s “Where’s Fred?” social media campaign led to a huge increase in Facebook and Twitter followers and garnered thousands of views on YouTube. Bank marketing executives positioned the campaign to kick-off additional social media efforts aimed at capturing a broader audience and increasing buzz, including “Real Stories. Real People.” A documentary series comprised of video vignettes, “Real Stories. Real People.” featured bank employees, customers, board members and other sharing their fondest banking memories – everything from opening their first bank account in the third grade, to signing the mortgage documents for their first home. With a groundswell of support for these types of campaigns, 3rd Federal Bank has become an early – and successful – adopter of social media among community banks nationwide.