Why is this work relevant for Media? Word of mouth and customer endorsements are 64% more trustworthy than pure brand messages (Nielsen). So, when we identified there were members of Velocity, the Frequent Flyer program of Virgin Australia, who weren’t engaging with our paid and owned media, we turned to those they would listen to, their friends. We turned our members into our media, paying them in points for promoting the program. To get this content seen, we executed a highly targeted addressable paid, owned and earned media strategy targeting members who needed to do more, driving next best action to ultimately re-engage with our program. Background Airline reward programs make money when people earn and spend points. And they have constantly got new news and information on how their members can earn and spend points. Which they mercilessly bombard them with. Airline and vacation deals, app launches, shiny new websites, bonus offers, perks, redemption deals, bank deals, deals, deals. Where to earn points, here, here, here, there!! It’s overload. Inboxes fill up, paid media becomes wallpaper. And the result is that customer engagement rates plummet. We needed a way to reach our members in new ways that would allow them to hear about all the ways to earn and spend points. And what’s more, we needed to prove that Velocity Points are easier than ever to earn. In fact, you can pretty much earn them anywhere. Describe the creative idea/insights (30% of vote) Rather than paying one person with millions of followers lots of money, we converted our marketing budget into points and offered millions of people, with a handful of followers, millions of points. A ‘Call-to-Earns’ video sent to our members via email and in addressable paid, launched the new platform, asking real members to create content about points, for points - an epic product demonstration of the power of Velocity Points. We put 12-months of briefs online and let members choose what they promoted - our new app, 15% transfer bonus offers, and many more. The more creative, authentic and educational the content, the more points they got, regardless of how many followers. Earnbassadors democratised the entire points category, allowing regular people to earn more points than influencers and those who earn points on their big expensive credit cards. Meaning more regular people got to fly around the world for free. Describe the strategy (20% of vote) We know that a small percentage of our members not only understood the program better than anyone, they also contributed to the majority of our revenue. So, our strategy was two-fold: get these members to tell us how they used the program and then use this content to target the members who could be doing more. Our first step was to define the most valuable actions that members could take to drive short term revenue growth as well as to promote longer term lifetime value to Velocity. These were things like: flying with Virgin Australia, transferring points from a credit card and earning points on their groceries - they became our briefs. Next, we identified our members who needed to do more, and grouped them into segments based on their next best action with the program. All we needed now was the member content to target them with. Describe the execution (20% of vote) We started by inviting the millions of Velocity members to become an #earnbassador. Within minutes, they were sharing program hacks we didn’t know existed. The creativity was immense - we had surfers, skydivers, and puppeteers. Within 48 hours, we had over 150 pieces of content. Our members had become our media. Next, we used addressable paid to turn the best Earnbassador content into ads targeting our specific segments. Never flown with us? We used member videos to teach them about our 600 destinations. Never earned points on groceries? We shared member content about getting to Fiji from filling their trolley. This content was reposted across Velocity’s facebook and instagram, other online and owned channels - including the inflight magazine, and we even produced a clothing line that was distributed through airline lounges, all aiming to get members in the know to share social content in exchange for Velocity Points. List the results (30% of vote) Leaving your marketing in the hands of consumers is terrifying. Ultimately, the risk was well worth the return. It returned a wealth of creative, educational and revenue-driving content delivering: 5700+ one-to-one ads (and growing) +484.5% positive sentiment 7.76M earned cumulative reach 30% increase in retail revenue Almost 10,000,000 Velocity Points have been paid to Earnbassadors - achieving exactly what Velocity exists to do - give everyday Australians the chance to travel in return for loyalty. It also revealed real-life feel-good stories. Earnbassador Julie flew her daughter Josie to a New York exhibition showcasing work from individuals with Down Syndrome. Sarah visited her friend recovering from chemotherapy. And many more travelled the world on Velocity Points. The Earnbassadors continue create content for the brand, saying all the things we need to say (and some that we don’t) in a better, more human way than any brand could.
Film advertisement created by CHE Proximity, Australia for Velocity Frequent Flyer, within the category: Hospitality, Tourism.
The previous four 15% bonus campaigns saw modest transfer increases despite strong media investment, necessitating headline-making creativity to shake the category and reinvigorate member relationships.Meet Tim, the intern who ‘accidentally’ sent an email to some of Velocity Frequent Flyer’s 7.5M members offering a slice of 1 billion (instead of 1 million) Points when they transfer reward points to Velocity.The ensuing dramatised consequences played-out in a 40-part mini-series during May. We follow Velocity’s employees as they go from denial, “what points?”, to realisation “We’re going to need more planes”. The implications of these high value Points flooding the market was contextualised with executions, ‘that’s something like 100,000 upgrades!’. Velocity employees eventually move to acceptance and relief “one week, just one week” - driving urgency in the campaign’s last days.Unlike most dramas - where you tune in - this series found you, knew what you had seen, your past transfer behaviour, and served tailored content to you when you went online, making each customer journey unique.Velocity’s first-party customer database was dissected into nine identifiable cohorts. Lookalike modelling was applied to high-value cohorts and budget directed to cultivate established customer relationships - increasing propensity for high-value conversions.To help target non-transferring members and delivered new-member growth, we built an addressable audience across Facebook-3.4M and DBM-1.2M to predict conversion likelihood and refined owned contact strategies creating bespoke messaging across all channels.Audiences were also targeted holistically with owned and paid media, including display banners, social posts, LinkedIn (where Tim job hunted), and in-airport collateral.Consumers were then driven to a fully-responsive online microsite containing a purpose-built Points calculator. People entered in the amount of points they wanted to transfer, then a ‘result’ told them how big their share of points was and where they could go with them.
Design advertisement created by Hulsbosch, Australia for Velocity Frequent Flyer, within the category: Hospitality, Tourism.