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Capital One Mascot Challenge: Reenergizing Mascot Mayhem

Challenge

Capital One is one of America’s most recognizable financial brands, renowned for the diversity of its credit card offerings and memorable advertising led by a colorful cast of characters. Capital One, like many brands, places a heavy emphasis on reaching out to its next generation of customers—college students.

For nearly a decade, its flagship vehicle for reaching college students was the Capital One Mascot Challenge—a multichannel marketing vehicle through which people were invited to vote for their favorite college mascots throughout the season, culminating with the Capital One Bowl Game. In its ninth year of the game, Capital One asked Elasticity to reenergize the program, bringing to bear a new focus on using social media to connect with the college demographic—something that had proved elusive to date.

Strategy

Elasticity leveraged an integrated program, harnessing an aggressive social media campaign, reaching out to influential organizations and media, creating partnerships with celebrity athletes and universities, as well as initiating a thoughtful paid media program to raise awareness and drive engagement. We developed a microsite and Facebook platform designed to entertain and encourage visitors to vote for their favorite mascots. Throughout the season, Elasticity used a promotional calendar of humorous and entertaining content to spark interest each week, led by lighthearted videos of the mascots themselves as they toured the country.

Results

Capital One was thrilled with the results of the program:

  • Our campaign drove the most votes and participation in program history.
  • We were responsible for half of the program engagement, despite having a significantly lower budget than that of the traditional media buying agency.
  • Facebook drove more than 30 percent of campaign traffic and participation.
  • Our earned media placements drove an estimated 17 percent of traffic and 22 percent of votes.