Leading into the busy holiday season, Visa was looking for a way to break through the clutter and stand out against their competitors. It had already been a year of milestones for Visa—in July Visa announced Visa Checkout, a safe and easy way to pay online that allows consumers to checkout with just a few clicks. With the ever-growing popularity of smartphones and tablets, FleishmanHillard (FH) knew that consumers would be doing more of their holiday shopping than ever before on mobile devices. FH's goal was to highlight how Visa's latest solution, Visa Checkout, makes it easier than ever for consumers to shop online, on any device.
Not only did Visa want to reach consumers and drive enrollments, but also wanted to demonstrate to potential merchant partners how signing on with Visa Checkout helps improve shopping conversion in online and mobile commerce. FH knew that if Visa wanted to stand out from the competition, the agency would have to do something big to excite consumers and highlight the merchant offers and deals available through Visa Checkout.
In order to clearly communicate the ease of shopping online with Visa Checkout, FH sought to leverage both visual and verbal mentions throughout 12 Days of Giveaways, including on-air product demonstrations and key messaging, in addition to merchant partner giveaways.
When partnering with the Ellen Show, the goal was also to incorporate the host's quirky sense of humor into product demonstrations—highlighting how Visa Checkout can help the customers save time even when they're trying to do a million other things at once (as we all are during the hectic holiday season). FH also sought to differentiate Visa Checkout from other online payment services and position it as the easier way to pay online, especially for holiday gift-giving.
The success of Visa Checkout's sponsorship of the Ellen Show's 12 Days of Giveaways relied heavily on FH's ability to communicate the ease of using the service in way that would be fun and engaging for the show's audience while still positioning the service to potential merchant partners as a key tool for shopping conversion.
To kick off the first day of 12 Days of Giveaways, Ellen DeGeneres herself announced the partnership with Visa Checkout. The first day alone included an on-air Visa Checkout demo and multiple messaging points—in addition to Visa and Gap gift card giveaways. The product giveaways were also promoted via Twitter, and viewers could enter the contest via social media.
Following the giveaways, the show conducted an on-air demonstration of Visa Checkout, showing how the staff is able to multitask and easily shop thanks to the service. The segment included messaging on how Visa Checkout makes shopping easier by eliminating the need to fill out endless forms and security questions—all in a hilarious skit executed in the show's signature comedic style. To surprise and delight audience members even further, FH also included one more give away—a $1,000 gift card courtesy of Visa Checkout and the Gap brand. Similar to the above, each day of 12 Days of Giveaways highlighted the service and featured a giveaway courtesy of Visa Checkout and one of the merchant partners.
In addition to coordination with the show's producers, FH also worked alongside Visa's social team on social amplification—including tweets and a blog post for their corporate Tumblr.
The ultimate goal of sponsoring the Ellen Show's 12 Days of Giveaways was to drive consumer enrollments in Visa Checkout and encourage additional merchant partnerships. Through traditional and social media effort, Visa Checkout announced in early 2015 that the product had over 4 million registered users, 140 retail partners and 260 financial institutions. With the added growth, Visa was able to sign on more merchant partners to Visa Checkout and further grow its user base.
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