To drive consideration and sign-up intent for Bank of America’s travel rewards credit card, we needed to find a different way to connect with the mass affluent in a highly competitive category.
There’s a conundrum with modern travel. We travel in search of happiness, but it often leaves us anxious and stressed. To drive consideration and sign-up intent for Bank of America’s Travel Rewards Card, we wanted to change that.
Winning favor of the elusive mass affluents, who spend 5x the average amount on annual travel and have several credit cards, would be a challenge. They are a highly desirable and sought-after audience, bombarded with a multitude of choices when it comes to credit cards. Travel card competitors use celebrities and airline and hotel partnerships to capture their attention, focusing on the rational benefits they provide to drive interest, such as lack of restrictions and simplified rewards point calculations. We needed to find a different way for Bank of America’s travel card to stand out.
We looked deeper into affluents’ wants and needs for leisure travel. Yes, our research showed they seek relaxation and enjoyment. But, the data also revealed that travel puts them on an emotional roller coaster. While they want to focus on the joy of travel, their journey from travel planning through the return home produces the opposite - negative feelings of anxiety, fear, envy and worse.
Bank of America could change that by commandeering joy.
Our strategy was to measure and deliver joy to affluent travelers, giving them travel inspiration to boost consideration and intent for Bank of America’s travel card.
We found the most joyful destinations on Earth in partnership with CONDÉ NAST TRAVELER. We first tapped into mood-boosting science alongside happiness experts Gretchen Rubin and Shawn Achor. We looked at a total of eleven hard and soft metrics to understand through data how the psychology of happiness combined with environmental factors makes travel more joyful, including novel cuisines, awe-inspiring landscapes and friendly locals. Research showed these factors light up our brains’ pleasure centers and decrease anxiety. CONDÉ NAST editors sought out destinations that that fit the criteria.
“The Joy Index” became a first-of-its-kind science-backed methodology that ranked travel destinations based on their ability to deliver maximum travel joy. To share our findings with the mass affluent, content needed to be at the center of our efforts to inspire them through storytelling about the world’s most joyful destinations. We designed a seamless content experience using digital and emerging media to inspire their future travels and discover what they really wanted: Joy.
Combining digital, video and social media designed around our audience, we delivered our seamless content experience with CONDÉ NAST TRAVELER that inspired travelers to find happiness at the top ten most uniquely joyful destinations in their own backyards and around the world. From the Canadian fishing village with the earliest sunrise in North America to the Madagascar islands where lemurs walk among people, each destination creates joy unlike anywhere else.
Award-winning photojournalist Donald Miralle circled the globe, capturing each location in immersive, feels-like-you’re-really-there 360-degree photography and video. In each destination, editors also uncovered unique experiences customers can enjoy using the Travel Rewards credit card from Bank of America. These “Must-Dos” included nightswimming with manta rays, a 22-course meal in a secret location and natural hot spring in a 19th-century bathhouse.
The takeaway? Whatever joy means to you, you can find it with Bank of America.
In a first for Facebook, we leveraged retargeting for content engagement, in which we reconnected those who fit our audience criteria with personalized Bank of America messaging about the specific destination with which they interacted, directing them to main The Joy Index digital content hub. We built additional scale to help travelers discover joy through digital and social media, owned Bank of America digital channels and on-site financial centers, PR stories about The Joy Index and featured destinations, and search.