'Goldfach punkten' PAYBACK Olympic Campaign

argonauten G2 GmbH - a member of Grey | G2 Group

ENTRY INFORMATION

Category: Financial Products and Services
Country where program ran: Germany
Date program started/ended: Summer 2008

Product Description: PAYBACK is Germany's largest bonus-point program, offering cardholders points-for-purchases at a range of merchant partners. PAYBACK is also an official German Olympic Partner; this campaign was developed for the Beijing Games.

Advertiser/Client Name: PAYBACK GmbH
Media Channels: Other
Website: http://195.234.80.136/awards/payback/goldfach_punkten/en/

STRATEGY

Marketplace Challenge:

PAYBACK rewards cardholders with bonus points for purchases at partner merchants, led by anchors ARAL (gas stations), dm (drugstores), real (groceries) and Galeria Kaufhof (department store). In return for financing the PAYBACK program, partners enjoy increased sales from point-seeking PAYBACK cardholders, who historically not only shop at partner outlets more often than non-cardholders do, but also spend more per trip. PAYBACK has been an Olympia Deutschland Partner since 2003, but only about one-third of PAYBACK cardholders knew of this sponsorship, and only around one in five could remember PAYBACK's Olympic-themed advertising unprompted. It didn't help that PAYBACK's Olympic promotions were using the same 5x-points mechanic as its normal seasonal promotions - not only were consumers finding this idea less and less exciting, partners were tiring of giving away so many extra points to reward people who probably would have shopped anyway. But PAYBACK needed more than just a better mechanic: it needed an idea that would restore some sexiness to the brand that introduced bonus points to Germany in the first place. PAYBACK was counting on its Beijing promotion to deliver Olympian results, both for the brand (awareness, emotion and prestige) and for the business (ROI plus incremental sales for partners). Beijing would be PAYBACK'S third Olympics, and it appeared to be a great opportunity: in any Olympic year, the Games is one of the most-followed sporting events, and this one was the most hotly anticipated sporting event in history. Fiercely debated, too: in addition to sporting news, topics like Beijing's sticky, smoggy August weather; China's human rights record; and the authorities' control over media access all battled for public attention. That's not all.