Magazine article American Banker

Citi Gets Some Hip Responses to Card Marketing Contest

Magazine article American Banker

Citi Gets Some Hip Responses to Card Marketing Contest

Article excerpt

Rising to what has become an annual challenge from Citibank, college students of marketing have been dreaming up hip advertising campaigns for imaginary credit cards, with snappy phrases like "get radical."

The challenge is a marketing contest Citibank inaugurated four years ago. It has become so popular that a number of colleges have added it to the curriculums of marketing classes.

This year, college students were invited to create mock affinity credit cards for campus programs, which would supposedly get percentages of sales.

Students created multimedia marketing campaigns to support the launching of the imaginary cards.

Oregon Students First

Three students from the University of Oregon took top honors in the Citibank MasterCard and Visa College Advertising Awards competition this year, for creating a "Citibank Outdoor Card" 1% of whose imaginary sales would help fund the university's outdoor club.

The Citicorp subsidiary gave the student team $5,000 for its mock affinity credit card marketing campaign. A matching gift went to the university.

The three students will be eligible for summer work in Citibank's MasterCard and Visa marketing department in New York to learn more about bank card marketing.

In their ad, the Oregon students said the Citibank Outdoor Card "won't soak you, because there's no annual fee . . . won't leave you on the rocks, because of its 24-hour ATM service . . . and will bail you out with worldwide acceptance."

A print ad enticed students to "get radical," with the Citibank Visa Outdoor Card. "Citibank helps you get the gear (and anything else you need), and the Outdoor Program makes sure you get to use it. So you can board it, climb it, kayak it, surf it, raft it, bike it, and more," the ad continues.

To prompt students to sign up for the imaginary card, the Oregon students created an imaginary contest that would give 18-day rafting trips through the Grand Canyon, with all expenses paid, to eight winners. …

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