Gamifying the Big Game: Ally Forgoes Super Bowl Commercials to Give Money Back to Consumers

by on Feb 15, 2018

This year, the Super Bowl gathered 103.4 million people to watch the game, the commercials and Justin Timberlake’s half-time show. Companies like Doritos, TurboTax and E*TRADE dished out $5 million for 30 seconds of commercial time, compared to just $2.3 million per 30 seconds in 2002. This year, Ally decided to break away from the traditional model. Instead of curating a commercial, the firm spent the money creating an AR (augmented reality) app: The Ally Big Save.

Participants downloaded the free app, accepted the terms, enabled camera access and selected a savings goal: Giving Back, Loved Ones, Emergency Fund, Education, A Home or A Car. During the “Big Game” commercial breaks, watchers (whether they are Ally clients or not) could hold their phone up to see dollar bills falling into their living rooms. Dragging dollars into a virtual piggy bank earned points. Prior to each commercial, a notification appeared that reminded watchers to open the app. At the end of the game, watchers submitted their highest score and then were prompted to type a 1000-word response that explained why the savings goal is important to them.

Ally Big Save App

While speaking at an FCS event, Ally’s CMO Andrea Riley called the app “the first disrupter of 2018.” She also suggested that Ally developed the app to encourage people to “save for something bigger, for things that matter most.” She discussed the importance of building a brand that relates to clients and has a purpose, stating that 90% of millennials would switch to an organization that supports a cause. She also discussed the importance of money mindfulness, suggesting that the traditional purchase funnel is extinct. Consumers now require a larger reason to do business with a specific brand. More than half of Americans have less than $1000 in a savings account and cannot handle a surprise $500 bill. The firm awarded $250,000 to a select group of participants who scored highly and entered a meaningful savings goal.

Ally Big Save Page

To promote the app, the firm tweeted, posted on Facebook and created a dedicated public site page. A press release and a series of commercials that featured real people who were saving for big goals like finishing a PHD or owning a home were released in the weeks leading up to the Super Bowl.

Ally Big Save Banner Image