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Special Project

Special Project
From the 9th Annual Shorty Awards

Citi® / AAdvantage® Everyday Adventures Contest

Entered in Contest or Promotion, Financial Services, User-Generated Content


The Citi® / AAdvantage® card brand campaign was born out of the insight that the "modern explorer" is out there— one who values seeking out the extraordinary and is always thinking about their next adventure. The Citi® / AAdvantage® card is strategically positioned as the tool that helps the modern explorer get there faster, better and more often —it's the card with benefits built for adventure.

With this insight in mind, we identified the opportunity to deepen engagement among travel enthusiasts and increase awareness of the Citi® / AAdvantage® card as an enabler of exploration for the modern explorer. Along with our goal of awareness, we also wanted to convey a sophisticated, strong brand image through a social campaign. We did this by hosting a user-generated content contest on Instagram.

Strategy and Execution

Citi knows that modern explorers are always looking for an adventure. They don't just love traveling, a desire for adventure is entrenched in their DNA. No matter where they are, their sense of exploration is always heightened, even if it's just a weekend getaway. To help ignite exploration and celebrate the spirit of true travelers, the Citi® / AAdvantage® card launched the Everyday Adventures Instagram Contest: a user-generated content contest that invited explorers to share their "everyday" adventures for the chance to win the ultimate travel experience.

The rules were simple: share a photo/video on Instagram based on the Everyday Adventures challenge and tag @Citibank, #TravelOn, and #contest. Three unique challenges were announced throughout the campaign to help theme entries. Each challenge was designed to reinforce the Citi® / AAdvantage® brand as an enabler of exploration and ultimately deepen customer engagement. Top submissions were showcased on an inspiration-hub microsite where users could explore other entries, learn more about the contest, and check out the Citi® / AAdvantage® cards. The prize for the contest? The winner of each challenge (3 lucky participants in total) was awarded 300,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® miles.

The challenge themes were: Happy Place, Town Ambassador, and Off the Radar. Happy Place emboldened our explorers to share their happy place in the world; the place they go to in order to interrupt everyday life in a positive way. Town Ambassador called on travelers to show off what was special about wherever they were exploring that day. This enhanced the user's appreciation for travel and empowered them with a new sense of adventure. Off the Radar had users explore something new, even in a familiar city. This challenge inspired modern explorers to break free from their day-to-day routines and find unexpected treasures they didn't know existed. The common theme among all challenges was the encouragement to see that adventure can be found anywhere if you have the right tools and perspective.

Citi took a staged approach while rolling out the contest. Before the contest began, Citi primed the market by sharing travel imagery and enlisting influencers to post about the upcoming challenges and available prizes. Once the contest launched, Citi continued to promote each challenge on Instagram, while constantly introducing new user-generated content on the inspiration hub. The hub dynamically pulled in contest entries to inspire future submissions, outlined contest details, and recognized the Citi® / AAdvantage® cards. After each challenge closed, Citi shared a post congratulating the winner and encouraging people to enter the next challenge. This strategy proved successful as all key performance metrics, entries included, increased across each challenge.

We achieved our objectives and surpassed our goals through hyper-focused targeting, leveraging high-quality creative, and utilizing straight-forward, instructional copy. Hosting the contest on Instagram, the platform best known for sharing and showcasing beautiful photography, also helped heighten the level of sophistication and authenticity of the campaign.


Citi received an outstanding response to the Everyday Adventures Contest. Each challenge yielded high quality entries—captivating photography from adventures big and small—along with personal stories of exploration and growth. Key results included:

- Over 1,900 user entries, each carrying its own unique narrative igniting adventure and exploration

- Over 23MM impressions

- An Engagement Rate that was 26% higher than the campaign benchmark

- A 90% positive/neutral sentiment score across the entire campaign—52% higher than the campaign benchmark

And of course, 3 very happy winners.


Entrant Company / Organization Name

Publicis OneTeam, Citi & American Airlines


Entry Credits