The problem: The payment category has exploded in a "new ways to pay" arms race as new tech brands have entered the ring. Against innovation giants like Apple and Google, and existing competitors like Mastercard and PayPal, Visa was struggling to stand out with an important and financially powerful group: Millennial women.
Our objective: It was our job to drive awareness and consideration of Visa with Millennial women, and increase the brand's relevance with this demographic.
Category insight: To stand out we needed to be people-focused, not product-focused. Traditionally, the financial category has either ignored women, or spoken to her in clichés (think: dress shopping or bargain hunting). They were ignoring a huge cultural movement, driven by Millennial women.
Cultural insight: To drive relevance, we needed to tap into this. Women were using conversation to destroy gender norms and taboos. Talking about periods, body image, and sexual assault was no longer off-limits. But one conversation still hadn't changed: the one about money. Millennial women are gaining financial power and making their own rules. It was time to match that with a new, dynamic understanding of her relationship with money.
Brand opportunity: As a leader in the future of payments, Visa had the duty to help change the conversation. We focused on how money was changing in women's lives, rather than pushing them to change the way they pay. Using our reach and partnerships, we created a platform to elevate her voice, and empower her to have an open, honest conversation about money.
Research: We commissioned Lieberman Research Worldwide to conduct a comprehensive study that dug deeper into how women feel, think, and experience money. Our questions spanned not just work, but topics of friendship, relationships, family dynamics, and self. We then published a summary of some highlights from that research in a white paper.Creating a data-driven campaign: Our findings shaped every element of our campaign. This included animated gifs that gave creative voice to our most compelling stats; Instagram Story polls that delved deeper into our findings; a :30 anthem video that raised questions that arose from our research; :15 snackable films that depicted scenarios from each of our research categories; and product ads that used our findings to illustrate scenarios that showed how Visa's products fit seamlessly into her changing world. This came to life on the social media platforms she already engages with: Facebook, Instagram, Instagram Stories, Snapchat and Pinterest.
Leveraging relevant partnerships: To be relevant with her, we needed to live in her world and speak her language. We partnered with media companies like Refinery29, Bustle, and The Cut, and influencers like GabiFresh and the founders of Mimi Cheng's. This allowed us to have the conversation in her voice and language via think pieces, candid interviews, influencer content, and infographics. We designed each creative asset to look like content instead of an ad. We worked with noted feminist illustrator Sara Andreasson, and used a color and type story inspired by current design trends to create work that could fit seamlessly within these spaces.
Measuring engagement: As work rolled out, we measured each creative asset live to identify which topics resonated, and continuously optimized the work to ensure we were having meaningful conversations with her.
Early indicators of lifting relevance: With just eleven weeks in market and around $1.7 million in social media spend, we've already seen a 45% increase in brand relevance amongst ageless progressive millennial females vs. norms, attributed to the Money Is Changing campaign creative. We've also seen a 127% increase in message takeaway, and even a 33% increase in perception of Visa as an innovative brand vs. norms amongst the target consumer.
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