Capital One Bets Big on Facebook in New Campaign

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Capital One is turning to Facebook for its newest brand-focused campaign, which debuts Thursday. The push, #DefineYourDream, highlights empowering and uplifting stories from Capital One customers, and will run primarily on Facebook and Instagram.

One nearly three-minute video features a small business owner who sells lingerie and also runs a program to help cancer survivors. "We proudly celebrate our customers who challenge us all to dream big," text from the commercial reads.

The campaign's two other customers are an adventure-taking life coach and blogger, and a teacher in Los Angeles who uses cash-back rewards from her Capital One cards to buy supplies for her low-income and homeless students.

The first video will run for about two weeks until the next story is shared. Capital One worked with Austin-based T3 and Facebook's Creative Shop on the effort.

"Facebook and Instagram allow us to connect in a more personal way with consumers," said Noha Abdalla, VP-social media and digital brand strategy at McLean, Virginia-based Capital One. "It allows us to tell an in-depth story that can go a bit deeper than a 30-second TV commercial." She added that such channels also promote a two-way conversation with customers. Capital One is hoping to extend the campaign beyond its initial three stories as commenters share their own tales of using the brand in an inspiring way.

Social media has been successful for Capital One in the past. Last year, the bank's #WalletStories campaign on Instagram resulted in a 16% boost in ad recall by customers, Ms. Abdalla said.

Of course, the bank, known for its celebrity-driven marketing, is also using traditional media. It is airing a TV campaign starring Samuel L. Jackson. Capital One spent $1.74 billion on worldwide advertising last year, a 12% increase over 2014, according to Ad Age's Datacenter. On a recent conference call reporting third-quarter sales, Richard Fairbank, founder and chief executive of the 28-year-old brand, spoke about Capital One's marketing efficiency.

"Marketing efficiency's at a pretty high level right now," he said. "It's maybe a commentary on our marketing, but probably as much a commentary about the window of opportunity we have to grow and the success of that." But he cautioned that competitors have also stepped up their advertising efforts as well. "This game will require a pretty high level of marketing," said Mr. Fairbank on the call.