AUSTIN, TX: Western Union, the money-transfer service, has successfully shown how to appeal to diverse audiences with emotional messaging thanks to its campaign based around the idea of the American Dream.

Nidhi Gupta, Director/Marketing at Western Union, discussed this year-long program while speaking at MediaPost's OMMA conference at South by Southwest (SXSW) 2016.

More specifically, she drilled down into the brand's attempts to mix online video and sweepstakes to start a dialogue about the American Dream and then help a group of lucky customers realise their own ambitions.

"The American Dream is very rich emotional territory. It conjures images in people's minds," said Gupta. (For more campaign details, read Warc's exclusive report: Western Union lives a multicultural American Dream.)

"Everybody has a point of view on it. You have a strong reaction to it, whether you believe or don't believe in it ... And it's especially relevant to our customers."

Such relevance came to the fore as Western Union analysed customers' motivations for wiring money, be it inside the United States or to top overseas destinations like India, China, Mexico and the Philippines.

And the brand discovered that a common theme rested beneath all the top-level differences. "These are people who are working very hard to send money to loved ones," said Gupta.

That insight enabled Western to roll out a total-market campaign that could connect with consumers in multiple demographics and locations.

"They are actually striving for the American Dream so they can give their loved ones back home a better life," Gupta continued.

While the brand's "kick off" video highlighted both a shared belief in this principle and the fact dreams vary from person to person, its sweepstakes injected real-life authenticity into this proposition.

"We did give away a down payment for a home. We gave away a year's tuition. We gave away a car and 45 other prizes where we paid people's rent, paid people's credit card bills," Gupta said.

"So hopefully we helped them in their journey to the American Dream."

Data sourced from Warc