Northwest FCU’s Safari Guy Points the Way
Locals are abuzz over Northwest Federal Credit Union’s new Webb Drive branch.
“We were in the car driving to the site of where our new Gainesville, Va., branch would be located and in trying to find Webb Drive, we kept asking what’s on Webb,” said Karyle Thornton, vice president of marketing at the Herndon, Va.-based credit union.
That simple question ended up sparking the $2 billion credit union’s “What’s on Webb” campaign.
Launched Nov.1, locals were invited by Safari Guy via a multimedia mix of direct mail, newspaper and billboards to see if they could figure out from a series of six clues on whatsonwebb.com what was being built on Webb Drive. Designed to build brand awareness, the clues ranged from “Our mascot is a dog” to “We’re 100,000 strong.”
With each clue, a winner was drawn from all entries to receive $250. In addition to submitting answers to the clues, residents were invited to join Club Webb, Northwest Federal’s new member fan club offering T-shirts and other giveaways, along with special email offers. So far Club Webb has attracted more than 150 members.
“It’s been a lot of fun and something different as far as introducing ourselves to the Gainesville community and creating excitement for our new branch, which will be completed at the end of March,” said Thornton. “As we tried to think of prizes we thought about giving away survival items like a gas card but realized with this economy, it would just be better to give a $250 prize that could be spent on whatever.”
She added that the member response has been overwhelmingly positive as about 400 participants sent in answers to the clues on the website with more than half correctly solving the mystery.
Among those who submitted guesses was Gainesville resident Jim Aram, who also was among the contest winners.
“I’m always curious when it looks like we’re going to have a new neighbor,” said Aram, who works near the new branch and saw the “What’s on Webb?” sign leaving his office each day. “Who wouldn’t like to win $250? I visited the website hoping to gain insight and provide my educated guess as to whom we’d be welcoming to the neighborhood. Several weeks later to my surprise, I received a call and I won.”
“Our goal was 100 participants as it was more of a brand awareness within the community before we’d even open our doors,” said Thornton. “Between the participation and Club Webb members we definitely exceeded our goal and got a lot of bang for our buck there.”