To amplify the reach of its Rio on the Hudson activation, which took place August 5-11 on Pier 26 in New York City (read more about the full program here), Citi created a robust social media strategy. Citi’s #StandForProgress program, unique and shareable photo opportunities and a Snapchat filter all fostered authentic dialogue that extended the Rio event well beyond the banks of the Hudson.
“Attendance at Rio on the Hudson far exceeded our expectations. In fact, attendance was nearly double what we had estimated,” says Amber Parmentier, vp of global sponsorships and event marketing at Citi. “We also saw huge success in authentic social engagement with guests of the experience.”
Here’s a closer look at how they did it:
1. A Hashtag with a Call to Action
#StandForProgress, a program Citi created to spark conversation about what progress means to people, from Olympic athletes to everyday Americans, was prominent right from the start, as a three-minute video played near the entrance of the activation. The program, which launched earlier this year, involves six athletes from Team Citi—Olympic Gold Medalists Gabby Douglas, Kerri Walsh Jennings and Nathan Adrian, Paralympic Gold Medalist Rudy Garcia-Tolson, Olympic Hopeful Carlin Isles and Paralympic Hopeful Scout Bassett—who met with students from around the country and explored how they define progress. Attendees at Rio on the Hudson were encouraged to post photos from the event showing what progress means to them. Signage and announcements throughout the space also asked attendees to share how they #StandForProgress.
2. Can’t Miss Experiences and Visuals
The virtual race against Olympic gold medalist Allyson Felix, in which attendees virtually “competed” against either her high-school record or her Olympic gold medal time alongside a 45-foot long digital LED screen, offered a differentiated experience ideal for social sharing. After they crossed the finish line, participants were emailed a photo of themselves to post on social channels, which they did in droves.
Other visuals also served as a backdrop for photo opportunities and social sharing. Among them, the Citi Team USA Cauldron, a striking wood and metal structure surrounded with photos of Citi’s eight Team USA athletes that served as the centerpiece of Rio on the Hudson. And then there was the beach, 8,000-square feet of sand at the end of the pier, which along with beach volleyball and other games, provided a perfect backdrop for photos to share on social media.
3. Customized Snapchat Filters
A custom Snapchat filter for the event featured the colors of the Rio games as well as the event name and #StandForProgress hashtag, all of which drove high levels of engagement with fans and attendees. (Agency: MOJO, New York City.)