Date: November 2006
Media Agency : SMG Iberia
Media Channels: Ambient
More than 80% of Spain's working immigrants send money back to their home countries. The Romanian immigrant population is the fastest-growing group in Spain. Western Union wanted to target this population and attract consumers to the brand over lower-priced competition.
However, rather than simply presenting numbers and prices to the potential consumers, Western Union needed to create an emotional association. The challenge was that research found immigrant consumers tend to default to rational decision making based on price when choosing money-transfer services.
When one of Romania's best-known football teams, Steaua Bucarest, came to play in the Champion's League against Real Madrid, Western Union saw an opportunity to reach a significant portion of the target audience. Furthermore, the event was likely to be hugely memorable for the attending Romanians, since tickets typically cost two weeks' salary.
Western Union wanted to play on the fact that the Romanian fans would feel like kings entering the stadium, filled with pride for their country and surrounded by fellow immigrants.
On a very tight budget, Western Union came up with the idea to create branded crowns in Romania's national colors to wear at the game. That way, the brand would become part of the memory of the match, featured in photos, both personal and professional. Western Union employed Romanian merchandisers to distribute the crowns and cheer on the national team outside the stadium.
Some 20,000 Romanian fans attended the match, many of them wearing the crowns. With an investment of 5,000 euros, Western Union generated and estimated 80,000 euros of publicity in national and international media coverage.
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