TD Ameritrade.

#itaddsup, a social campaign aimed to send seven promising athletes to Sochi for the 2014 Winter Olympics, inspires investors to start small and aim high.

TD Ameritrade has built its brand on making investing transparent and simple – but in a highly regulated industry like financial services, building a brand on social media can be challenging. In 2013, TDA asked Huge to help provide value to consumers while building awareness and credibility through social media.

We started with an in-depth discovery process and came away with two key insights:

  1. In a sea of sameness, be honest, smart, and witty. The financial services sector is saturated with stock imagery, generic narratives, and dry advice. Engage audiences with relevant, entertaining content and real human stories to win their attention in ways other brands can’t.
  2. Helpfulness wins the day. To offer consumers real value, give useful financial advice with a human touch. No matter the story, the message should always support investing—even in the long term—as a manageable goal than can be achieved easily over time.

Long-term financial goals can be daunting. With its emphasis on easily consumable, timely content, social media was an ideal platform to feature the small but important steps we can all take to meet long-term objectives. So Huge and TDA developed a simple but powerful social media strategy: delight and inspire audiences with fun, refreshing content, but let the brand’s core values guide the conversation.

Huge became responsible for ongoing content creation and community management for the brand’s Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram accounts, in close collaboration with thought leaders at TD Ameritrade. Content strategists created social media guidelines and an editorial calendar. Designers reskinned channel profile pages and created eye-catching social images. Our social media team took over publishing and engaging. Analytics experts tracked metrics including paid and organic reach, engagement, shares, and impressions to measure social ROI. We trained TDA’s social media response team and provided ongoing day-to-day support. The brand now responds to comments or tweets seven days a week, always in thirty minutes or less.

With the brand’s social media presence reinvigorated, we launched the #itaddsup to coincide with the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.

In Sochi #itaddsup to an Olympic win for TDA.

In 2013, Huge and TD Ameritrade launched #itaddsup, a social media campaign around the company’s sponsorship of the 2014 Winter Olympics. #itaddsup featured the seven seasoned Olympians and Paralympians TD Ameritrade was sponsoring and seven Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls. Leveraging popular enthusiasm for the Games, TDA created an exciting experience of shared spectatorship and owned the social conversation around personal investing.

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Investing for the future and training for the Olympics aren’t really that different: just like small investments yield big rewards over time, athletes’ training brings their Olympic dreams a little closer every day. The campaign highlighted this idea by designing and building a dynamic microsite that encouraged fans and followers to mention #itaddsup: every mention helped the young hopefuls get one mile closer to traveling to Sochi with their Olympian mentors. And once the athletes had arrived at the Games, every additional mention added $1 to the hopefuls’ accounts to fund their dreams of competing. Through community management, PR outreach and influencer engagement, we set a new precedent for engagement with a financial services client, driving over 78,000 uses of the #itaddsup hashtag on social media.

Huge shared stories and photographs of the athletes’ journeys on TDA’s social media channels. And when they went to Sochi, Huge went too. With videos, photos and interviews, we captured their lives and training routines and updated audiences at home on their performance. The young hopefuls served as additional points of engagement and a major differentiator: no other brand could produce documented content that was as intimate and engaging. Through it all, we were careful to strike the fine balance between #itaddsup and TDA’s financial thought leadership, creating on-brand content that supported athletes while expressing TDA’s message about smart investing.

Huge’s public relations, paid media, and influencer outreach efforts fueled the success of #itaddsup. By the end of the campaign, TD Ameritrade’s total social media audience grew by 12%, with a 44% increase on Twitter and 12% increase on Facebook. Huge’s work drove 128,000 sweepstakes submissions and 325,000 visits to the website. Our PR outreach about the campaign led to 65 stories in print, online and TV outlets, amounting to 97 million impressions. Coverage included an exclusive story in the New York Times and a live feature on the TODAY Show. The campaign won one of the first-ever CLIO Sports Awards and a Financial Services Standard of Excellence Award from the Web Marketing Association Web Awards.

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