Bank Connects to College Students

Tapping the emotional core of a failing campaign to turn it around.



An international bank had designed a credit card and banking offer targeted to college students—yet, in initial execution, the campaign was falling far short of goals. College students weren’t responding to the offers.



Through insights and interviews, we uncovered why: poised on the cusp of adulthood, college students are extremely sensitive to rejection. The campaign wasn’t speaking to them in words and examples they could understand so that they could be successful in applying for the offer. They were afraid of rejection.



Developing the empathy to understand this critical insight led to a refreshed campaign, one that we were certain would succeed. When initial results didn’t match our expectations, we dug deep as to why. The college marketing company subcontracted to implement the campaign hadn’t rolled out the new material. Once it did, the campaign quickly exceeded goals.