SoFi is a modern finance company, not a bank. They have members not customers and they operate in a fashion that is fundamentally unique to the finance category – a category that is dominated by large, traditional banks. Starting with limited awareness, we were up against some of the biggest media spenders in the world and many of these organizations already claim to be “anti-bank.” We needed to achieve mass awareness and understanding for an unknown brand’s products and unique positioning.
Our media plan was built around reaching scaled awareness and challenging mega banks through mass media while educating the target throughout their daily life.
SoFi’s “The Beginning of a Bankless World” phase started 2 weeks prior to the Super Bowl to generate buzz and anticipation of something larger to come.
We seeded the message in Broadcast TV, a #DontBank Promoted Trend on Twitter, digital & mobile high impact executions through Pandora, New York Times, CBS Sports and others on key dates, leveraged digital video with YouTube. We reached light TV viewers via Connected TV with YuMe and promoted content on social properties such as Facebook, Twitter & Instagram. We also took the message into the physical world by purchasing large format Outdoor in the Top 10 DMAs while projecting “The Beginning on a Bankless World” messaging onto building. The message was even brought inside the banks by leveraging in-elevator placements targeting building of large Mega Banks. And finally, the messaging ran in Cinema prior to the movie “The Big Short” among others in select cities.
We then launched the brand campaign in earnest with Super Bowl 50. First ad break, C position. Forbes ranked SoFi as #1 for most viewers reached of any advertiser in the game. Comprehensive efforts surrounded the game in social with live content creation and consumer engagement.
The day following Super Bowl 50, fully integrated campaign launched. Notable elements included heavy Outdoor in the Top 10 DMAs, multiple mobile masthead takeovers on YouTube, a custom content series on Medium titled “The Future of Money”, integrations with popular sports properties such as ESPN & CBS Sports, streaming audio buys with Pandora & Spotify and integrations with podcasts such as Freakonomics, This American Life, Re/Code Decode and Bill Simmons.
The final peak of the campaign focused on Men’s NCAA Basketball with a sponsorship of the Pac-12 Men’s Basketball Tournament as well large-scale efforts in March Madness. SoFi had a presence in almost every broadcast March Madness game and a spot in all March Madness Live Streaming games.
Early results are strong. In total the campaign has tallied over 1.6B impressions to date. We’ve seen sharp increase in brand awareness and favorability metrics and well as a significant uptick in SoFi business metrics such as registrations and loan starts.