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The very thought of student loan debt sends chills down the spines of millions of overwhelmed students and grads nationwide (ours, too). So when SALT – created by the nonprofit American Student Assistance (ASA) – approached us with “The Red,” a campaign based around a horror movie starring student debt as its suffocating and relentless monster, they quickly had our attention.
The film, conceived by SS+K, brought some much needed attention to an issue most avoid thinking about, but it was up to us to turn that attention into measurable results, and solidify SALT’s role as both answer and ally in the fight against The Red.
We started with a comprehensive digital package to support the larger campaign, including a mobile-optimized microsite, OLA, and CRM. Most importantly, we developed a 60-day sweepstakes that rethought the traditional contest model by turning it into an educational, social engagement platform.
We designed and built FaceTheRed.com as the destination for the larger, multi-channel campaign to explain the meaning and motivations behind creating The Red, and ultimately entice users to sign up for the Face The Red $10,000 Sweepstakes.
To get folks who hate thinking about their student loan debt to, well, think a lot about their student loan debt, we developed a sweepstakes that incentivized participants to consume SALT content, use and download SALT tools, share their own opinions on Facebook and Twitter, and recruit their friends as a means of boosting their chances to win one of three $10,000 prizes to pay for college, or pay off student loans.
At the core of the experience was a Facebook application that allowed users to quickly register for the sweeps, and after entry, served as a dashboard where they could earn additional entries by completing daily tasks and recruiting friends, as well as track the number of entries they had accumulated. Participants could also opt to have daily tasks delivered directly to their newsfeeds, keeping the engagement fresh in their minds without any extra effort on their part.
To support the greater campaign and drive folks to the contest, we built banners that use big, bold headlines, quick-moving transitions, and arresting smoke effects to build suspense and interest around The Red.
We used existing SALT databases to send messages that would activate and inform current SALT members about the sweeps. When participants entered the sweeps or registered for SALT, it triggered a pair of emails to welcome them, encourage them to engage with daily tasks and recruit friends.
In response to the campaign and sweeps, SALT’s membership grew by approximately 60%, while SaltMoney.org saw an almost 600% increase in unique visitors.
On Facebook, likes increased by 2,761%, and viral impressions jumped 1,958%.
Finally, SALT’s Twitter following doubled.