In May 2013, Kinecta Federal Credit Union – a Southern California-based financial institution – launched a fun, fresh, interactive Facebook sweepstakes called “Stash & Save.” The theme was a play on words, mixing the combination of the hipster/pop-culture fascination with mustaches – or “ ‘staches” – with the promotion of positive savings behaviors, or “stashing.” Hence, Stash & Save.
There were two main components to the Stash & Save sweepstakes: The first was a photo voting contest that had players upload images of themselves, their children, friends and pets or inanimate objects adorned with a mustache. The second, a virtual “Match the ‘Stache” slot machine, allowed players to click on and digitally “spin” the slot handle to try to match three mustache images. If all three mustaches lined up that player would take home a sweet $50 for the day and be entered into an even sweeter $250 weekly drawing.
The first strategy was to entice participants to visit the site to post their dandy mustache photos. We caught the attention of players nationwide with the prospect of winning $2,500 for whomever’s photo received the most votes. This created a much-coveted viral effect as participants shared their photo submissions with their friends and family, who would then jump onto the site to vote, like and comment on the images. Developers created a photo voting mechanism on the Facebook app where participants could submit up to one photo per day along with their “Stash Story” – or their savings goal. This got players thinking about what they would save for with their prize money, furthering the credit union’s mission to help our members and communities save money while having a little fun with it.
The second strategy was to attract gamers back to the site daily to test their hand on the virtual “Match the ‘Stache” slot machine wheel. This innovative slot game effectively increased exposure to Kinecta’s Facebook page and drove daily and weekly engagement.
• We started the contest on May 1, 2013 at 8,860 page Likes and ended May 31, 2013 with 15,190 page Likes for a net total of 6,330 new page Likes. To put that into perspective we were averaging about 1,000 likes per month prior to the sweepstakes
• Our goal was 4,000 new likes, which we exceeded by more than 50%
• Our fans uploaded 100 mustache pictures – our goal was 50 so we doubled that exactly.
• The total number of votes: 12,707 – which means we probably had more than 10,000 visits to our Facebook page
• People spun the slot machine at least 950 times, but probably much, much more. The figures shot through the roof once we moved the registration form to before people played the slot game instead of after
• Our goal was to get 500 people to spin the wheel, which we nearly doubled
• Our brand engagement rate spiked, topping out at 26.81% during the week of May 14-20, 2013.
This unique promotion employed gamification tactics to encourage savings behaviors with the prospect of winning money, ostensibly to save. It took Facebook sweepstakes to a new level in the financial services sphere, breaking out of the mold of basic giveaways for simple tasks. By making the promotion interactive, people were able to share our page with their friends and family, increasing our exposure with every vote. Great care was put into the development, placement and functionality of each element. We used a third-party platform – ShortStack – to program and administer the sweepstakes. Our developers created the slot machine app from the ground up, so we knew there was nothing else like this out there - especially among other financial institutions. By virtue of this being a one-of-a-kind campaign, we assert that it deserves to win the Shorty Award in the Financial Services category for its innovation and vision. We exceeded all of our goals for new likes and participation, a testament to the effectiveness of the mustache (stash) and savings angle.
The sweepstakes was open to Kinecta’s 250,000 members as well as the general public, which served to broaden our potential reach. No purchase was necessary to participate – just a great sense of mustache style. During the promotion period (May 1, 2013 to May 31, 2013), players were encouraged to visit Kinecta’s Facebook page, which was like-gated, and like the page in order to participate.
After drafting and posting the sweepstakes rules and launching the apps, we went live with Stash & Save. We morphed our Facebook profile and timeline images into ‘stachey goodness to reflect the look and feel of the campaign. We placed a branded button with the sweepstakes' “Mustache Baby” on the Facebook homepage for easy access to the apps. We posted photos, silly quizzes (“Name that famous ‘stache”), promoted posts, reminders and updates to our wall throughout the month. In addition, we folded in our Twitter followers by driving them to our Facebook page regularly to post, play and vote.
Our branch network of 22 locations hung flyers in each teller window as well as 22x28” posters in the lobbies with larger-than-life cut-out foam core mustaches adorned with furry fabrics in vibrant colors. The branches also promoted the campaign with hundreds of mustache-magnet cards, which created an interactive, tactile feel to the digital campaign. The magnets could also be used as props for players to use in their photo submissions. The poster and card tagline: “See how big YOUR [insert ‘stache cutout/magnet] can grow!” Not only did we incorporate in-branch advertising, we promoted the contest through reminders on Twitter, Facebook ads and promoted posts as well to draw attention to the games and consequently Kinecta’s Facebook presence.
In essence, Stash & Save deserves to win for its clever approach to encouraging savings habits through a fun, interactive photo contest and unique slot machine game. The daily, weekly and grand prize cash payouts kept the interest level high while attracting new visitors every day and gaining greater exposure for our brand. We capitalized on the popularity of old-timey mustaches in current pop-culture circles to draw awareness about ‘stashing and saving. There was a whimsical feel to the promotion, which served to draw players of all ages and backgrounds. Plus it was just really fun to watch the virtual mustaches spin on the slot machine! The creativity that went into developing it surpasses the stereotypical expectations of a financial services provider as stodgy and dull. Besides increasing engagement and driving more likes to our Facebook page, one of the main goals was to be fun and accessible, and we believe we accomplished that.
Molly Egan, Product Marketing Manager
Shannon Doiron, Vice President, Marketing