MoneyGram extends global holiday magic

Global money transfer company MoneyGram International began strategically aligning its communications function and global marketing efforts last year.

Client: MoneyGram International (Dallas, Texas)
Agency: MM2 Public Relations (Dallas, Texas)
Campaign: Spreading the Holiday Magic
Duration: December 2011 – February 2012
Budget: $100,000 (including donations and supplies)

Global money transfer company MoneyGram International began strategically aligning its communications function and global marketing efforts last year.

“We've evolved the [communications] function to be much more sophisticated and to have a consumer perspective,” explains SVP of communications Patty Sullivan. “We brainstormed with MM2, our AOR, to determine how we could extend our global ‘Holiday Magic' ad and marketing campaign.”

The result was a message-relay concept tied to the idea of transferring money and “spreading the magic” through gifting 10 elementary schools in eight countries with money and supplies.

Agency principal and creative director Larry Meltzer says the philanthropic angle also ties to MoneyGram's launch of a charitable foundation later this year.

Schools in key business locations were selected based on economic need. During events at each school, children wrote their understanding of the magic of education and relayed those messages through a campaign microsite and blog to students at the next school on the route.

The relay began and ended in Dallas, where MoneyGram is headquartered.

Traditional and social media outreach broadened awareness.

The microsite and blog launched in tandem with the first school visit in Dallas on December 5.

Local MoneyGram employees visited each school. The team provided them with training materials for the events, social media outreach, and media relations. The local company representatives also worked with each school to ensure events were culturally relevant.

The MoneyGram employees brought computers to each school and worked with students to write and relay their messages. They also presented monetary donations, backpacks filled with school supplies, and a SmartGlobe (an interactive learning tool). The SmartGlobes echoed the company's logo.

Media were invited to school visits. Ongoing outreach targeted local market traditional media and bloggers.

School visit recaps and photos were posted to the blog. Campaign updates were also posted to MoneyGram's Facebook page.

Nearly $75,000 in cash and supplies was donated. December traffic increased 20% over November, which is partly attributed to the overall global marketing campaign. From December to early February, the microsite got nearly 10,000 unique visits.

The events reached about 2,500 students directly.

Nearly 100 stories ran in outlets globally including Univision and Russia's Jurnalul de Arges.

“The campaign was a home run,” Sullivan says. “It rallied marketing and business leaders around the world to want to work with PR even more. They're now thinking about us as a strategic part of their business.”

The team is working on multiple initiatives, including a Mother's Day campaign primarily targeting Hispanics, new global positioning, and a new brand look.

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