Alberta proves the staying power of Young & Free!

We helped Servus Credit Union launch the search for its fourth annual Young & Free Alberta Spokesperson today! First launched in October 2007, we are now three and half years into the program in Alberta and its still building in popularity, web traffic and new member growth!

Transient

Year one and two were run in the 14 original branch locations of Common Wealth Credit Union. During this time, approximately 5,000 Young & Free Chequing Accounts were opened. In March 2010, the program expanded to the full 100-branch network of the newly merged Servus Credit Union. Over the past 12 months, the total number of Young & Free Chequing Account holders quadrupled to more than 20,000! Needless to say, we are thrilled.

Over the past year, the Alberta team has dialed things up considerably. In addition to the annual spokesperson search, we've helped Servus run numerous contests on the site to keep the interest and web traffic high. We know that these additional online contests have driven account growth as we've been able to see spikes in web traffic and participation coincide with similar spikes in account growth. Here's a recap of the three major contests.

  • 2010 Young & Free T-Shirt Design Challenge In addition to promoting the contest with online advertising and through the social Web, we also made sure to reach out to area high school and post secondary design programs to get on the radar of potential entrants. The grand prize was an all-expense-paid trip to New York City. A group of credit union employees and representatives from the local design industry judged the entries. The contest was quite popular and drew 32 entries and considerable traffic.
  • 2010 Young & Free Scholarship Program We found out that running an online scholarship contest is a great way to build upon something that the credit union was doing anyway. Servus gave away 30, $1,000 scholarships and drew more than 240 applicants. Clearly this type of contest resonates with young people. Applicants could choose to write a 500-word essay or create a 60-second YouTube video based on a set theme. Judging was left to a panel of credit union employees and the winners were revealed online. To add a crowd-participation and word-of-mouth element, we held a people’s choice public vote for three iPad prizes. 
  • 2011 Young & Free Dance Challenge Based on the popularity of reality shows Dancing with the Stars and So You Think You Can Dance, we helped Servus hold a dance competition. 41 fantastic individuals and groups participated. The contest drew incredible traffic, interest and participation. The public voted for the winner who received a $4,000 grand prize. During the voting phase, we managed to grow our opt-in email database by more than 5,000 subscribers! The creativity and talent shown in this contest was awesome—this particular entry video didn't win, but it was my favorite! 

Prior to Young & Free, we produced dozens of credit union campaigns. These campaigns typically lasted two to three months and were shelved after one go. With Young & Free Alberta and all of the other regions, it has been so gratifying to be involved with something with such staying power.

Tim