Case Study: Western Union American Dream Sweepstakes

Western Union American Dream Sweepstakes
Western Union American Dream Sweepstakes

The Challenge

  • Western Union wanted to create a promotion that not only met their business goals but the goals of their hard working customers and consumers.
  • Their goals were to:
    • Engage consumers with the WU brand by letting them know that WU stands by them, and is there to help them achieve their American dream.
    • Increase awareness of the brand’s digital products, including and the WU App among Millennials.
    • Develop a concept that would unite all consumers and a platform to showcase their American Dream stories.

The Solution

  • Western Union created and developed the concept and theme for the “American Dream” Sweepstakes which gave their customers and consumers a chance to win the American Dream.
  • The Sweepstakes ran for eleven months in 2015 and offered a chance to win over $180,000 in cash prizes throughout the promotion period. The cash prizes could be used towards elements of an “American Dream” such as a car, college tuition, or even towards a down payment for a new home.
  • Entry was open to US residents, 18 years of age or older during the promotion period. There were two ways to enter, either via an automatic entry each time a WU customer sent a qualifying transfer online at or with their mobile app; or via a No Purchase Necessary mail-in entry. Monthly random drawings determined the potential winners.
  • As the Administrator of the Sweepstakes, Marden-Kane authored the Official Rules, conducted the random drawings and notified all of the potential winners to obtain all of the required releases and clearance documents so the prizes could be awarded.
  • Promotional messaging was communicated through display banner ads, social, email, website, celebrity engagement and various events.
  • Consumers also had a chance to be featured in a Western Union video by sharing a picture or video link on Instagram or Facebook showing what the American Dream means using a hashtag, #WUAmericanDream.

The Results

  • Over 13,000,000 eligible entries received during the promotion period.
  • 48 prizes awarded with a total ARV of $182,500.
  • The promotion won various prestigious awards via Western Union’s creative agency Quirk Creative:
    • Reggie Gold Winner: National Consumer Campaigns (Budget Over $3,000,000)
    • Reggie Bronze Winner: Digital and Mobile Marketing Campaigns
    • Pro Awards Bronze Winner: Best Cross-channel Campaign
    • IAC (Internet Advertising Competition) Winner: Best Financial Services Online Campaign, Best Of Show Online Campaign
    • AAF (American Advertising Federation)Mosaic Award Winner: Multicultural Digital Campaign
  • A Public Relations video was released with a sample of American Dream stories from Western Union employees. Watch it here: