Over the last several months, new payment cards with EMV (Europay, MasterCard and Visa) chip technology has been issued to cardholders across the U.S. Most people don't know why they are getting a new card, why there is a chip in their card or how to use it. Chip cards, when used with chip-enabled payment terminals are more secure, than magnetic stripe cards. This is the first major change in the way consumers pay in the U.S. since the introduction of debit cards.
October 1 marked the beginning of the transition to chip technology, with retailers and issuers both incentivized to have upgraded to chip, either by installing chip-enabled payment terminals, and issuing chip cards. However, many small and medium-sized merchants were still unaware of the chip technology for credit cards. Visa wanted people to understand that the new EMV chip cards provide them with more secure transactions and that Visa is dedicated to the security and protection of every transaction.
Visa will lead the way for all merchants to be 100% chip ready. To do so, imagine if we could sweeten the conversation about EMV chip security by surprising people with a classic ice cream treat – the Chipwich! The Chipwich was leveraged to attract attention and create buzz in a major city to start the conversation about why the chip is now in credit cards and the security features it provides.
In order to educate critical consumers and business leaders, Visa decided to target the Washington, D.C., area as a key stakeholder city in the transition to chip cards. Visa wanted to specifically target a metropolitan area where cardholders are more likely to travel internationally (they are most likely to receive their chip cards first). The target audience includes the 25-40 year age bracket as they are likely to be international travelers and active on social media.
The transition to EMV chip technology is the single largest change in payment card acceptance in U.S. history, and only 1 in 3 small businesses are prepared. Visa wants to make sure that all merchants are prepared for the shift to ensure their own protection along with the highest level of payment security for their customers.
Additionally, nothing is as safe of a bet as ice cream for consumers. While Americans may not be clamoring to learn about the new EMV chip just yet, they will try anything for free ice cream!
On October 1, Visa partnered with the Captain Cookie & the Milkman food truck to distribute Visa Chipwich branded chocolate chip cookies and Chipwiches to food truck visitors at strategic locations around Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. By providing Chipwiches and partnering with the food truck, the fun factor was added to the conversation and education around payment and card security. The event was officially dubbed the Visa #ChipReady Tour.
The food truck was transformed into a Visa Chipwich branded food truck for the day, which D.C. residents could follow on Twitter to find out where it would be. The truck let its followers know its locations on October 1, and that they were partnering with Visa for the day to educate them to be #ChipReady. The Visa Chipwich Street Team helped distributed Chipwiches at each location, helping consumers "pay" for their Chipwich by participating in a free Visa chip card demo. Food truck visitors walked away with a Chipwich in a Visa-branded wrapper along with information about the security features and activation process for the new chip cards.
The goals of the campaign were to drive awareness of the Visa chip card and awareness of the security features of the Visa chip card. The way this was measured was by total impressions, number of people engaged at the event, visits to visachip.com (or visachipwich.com) and the number of flyers with educational material distributed.
Overall, there were 93 mentions of the event with 1.1 million impressions created. Over 1,200 consumers visited the food truck on what turned out to be a very stereotypical, dreary rainy day in D.C. The most authoritative users mentioning the event were influencers in small business and targeted organizations, including the Electronic Transaction Association (ETA) and local D.C. media. Local station WTOP was tweeting about the event, along with the CEO of the ETA and Melinda Emerson, the host of Small Biz Chat. Visa's own CEO, Charlie Scharf, was able to stop by the event and discuss with consumers how they were getting #ChipReady. FleishmanHillard's media team secured stories in targeted, niche local publications including the Washingtonian and D.C. Eater to inform D.C. residents about the event and how they can be #ChipReady.