From Super Bowl to the Olympics: 5 Questions With SunTrust


SunTrust 2018 Olympics #onUp ad skater

SunTrust Bank introduced its onUp Movement campaign, which is all about gaining financial confidence and goals, during Super Bowl 50 in 2016, and it’s still going strong.

In a new ad running during the 2018 Winter Olympics on NBC, 11-year-old skater Elise Freezer dances alongside a stuffed bear to the Flashdance hit, “What A Feeling,” to inspire parents to help their children achieve their dreams.

The message about families’ financial fitness: “Don’t let anything hold you back from reaching your dreams. Save for the future and find your financial confidence.”

The TV spot will air across the U.S. on NBC-owned broadcast and digital channels during the Olympics from Feb. 9-25 and on Hulu and local TV channels from March 12 to April 15.

SunTrust onUp mobile app

Additional campaign elements direct consumers to, SunTrust’s online platform for personal finance education. It provides resources such as savings calculators, budgeting tools and articles such as “Turn Your Kids’ Dreams Into Reality With Financial Confidence.” Added in time for the holiday shopping (and overspending) season, The onUp Challenge is a free, gamified experience that helps players work on financial goals.

SunTrust - Corinne CuthbertsonCorinne Cuthsbertson (right), SunTrust’s head of brand advertising and digital marketing, shares more about the research and insights informing the campaign, in our latest Q&A.

Is the onUp financial literacy message catching on? 

Absolutely. As we launch this next campaign for the onUp movement, we have close to 2.8 million people who’ve joined it. We launched in 2016 Super Bowl and all those people have taken steps toward financial confidence.

What are the steps, exactly?

We have a financial wellness quiz that gives the opportunity to look at where they are in their financial journey, and we give them tools, tips and resources to move forward.

In November we launched the onUp Challenge, a gamified way for people to look to save and learn about value and what’s most important in their lives. Are they saving for their family, for retirement? When people look at financial confidence, if it’s based on what they value there’s even greater traction and it’s easier to make commitments to what you want to do.

Delivering financial confidence and helping people feel more confident creates more robust conversations as we talk with people who want to move forward on their journey, helping them understand what are the next steps that they should actually take.

SunTrust onUp movement ad 2018 Winter Olympics

Why bring onUp to the Winter Olympics?

People sit with their family and friends and share the experience of watching. It’s a wonderful celebration of the human spirit and what you can do when you focus and train and have the confidence needed—and dream big.

From the analysis we’ve done, it’s a big stage and consumers remember the brands that appear in the Olympics, even three months after the games have ended. And there’s an 83% increase in brand (recall) after the Olympics ends.

There’s no bigger stage than the Olympics. When you think about confidence, there are young athletes exuding confidence. Think about what it takes (to be an Olympian)—skill, but also a family behind them making financial sacrifices.

We’ve done surveys and found that 20% of parents spend more than $2,500 a year on activities like sports, dance and so on for their kids, while 40% spend more than $1,000 annually. When they’re doing that they often make trade-offs to make that happen. We want people to understand how they can make those sacrifices without giving up on saving for retirement, or for your family moving forward.

SunTrust 2018 Olympics ad

How does your campaign reinforce that message?

The idea here is that we have a young girl who goes onto the ice and gets caught in the spotlight, and she decides to take that opportunity to absolutely shine. She’s able to do that because her parents have the financial confidence to allow her to train and do all the necessary things and showcase what she brings to the world. It’s a story about everyday people and we think it resonates. It shows the magic of what happens when you truly believe in yourself.

Get more branding insights in our Q&A series.

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