In social media, another click-through is rarely more than a split-second away. As a result, there isn’t much time to make a comprehensive sales pitch, much less build a brand. A new Facebook campaign promoting the Chase United MileagePlus Explorer Visa card has challenged those constraints, however, and built awareness and conversions with a creative treatment that appeals to the escapist in everyone. “Consumers are more likely to convert when there is an emotional connection to the brand,” says Gerald Bagg, co-chair of Quigley- Simpson, the bicoastal brand response agency behind the ads. “But we had to do it in a unique way in digital, where typically there isn’t much time to tell a story.”
The “Origami” campaign is a series of different spots ranging from :10 to :30 that run sequentially and are designed to target consumers at various points along the conversion path. The first communicates the credit card’s high-level benefits, the next goes in-depth after a consumer’s click, and the third presents an offer and a link. “By the time they get to the third installment, we have qualified them as legitimate propsects, and they are converts or almost-converts,” Bagg says. “We devised a way to attract people’s attention and then take them slowly down the adoption curve.”
Nominated for an award in the newest Moxie category, Best Social Media Campaign, the first ad in the series, “Origami Awareness,” conveys the concept that a business owner can take the mileage earned on supplies, client dinners, and business trips and turn it into fun, relaxing leisure travel. This is executed by showing a pair of hands folding a stack of ordinary thermal-paper credit card receipts into an origami wave, a surfer, and ultimately, a United Airlines jet.
Shooting the footage took about six hours, tapping a skilled origami artist, a hand model, and a bit of time-lapse editing artistry to make an origami travel tableau appear before viewers’ eyes in seconds. The ad’s crafty creative has generated lots of repeat viewings, click-throughs, and shares. “It’s like a magic trick or an illusion,” Bagg says. “Viewers want to look at it again and again to see how the magic works.”
Credit cards have been marketed using direct response from the time they were launched, Bagg notes, but the Facebook campaign is miles ahead of the take-one brochures that used to appear on counters throughout the United States. “The ability to monitor, test, measure, and track is significantly better in the social media,” he says. “It’s a sophisticated approach that takes brand response to another level.”
Ian P. Murphy is senior editor of ER magazine.
The above originally appeared in the September-October issue of ER magazine.