Work

529 College Savings Plans – For Their Future


One-shot Ads for a Shot at Debt-free College

Together with 27 states, we helped launch a national awareness campaign for 529 College Savings Plans—state-backed programs that help families from all walks of life save for higher education.
 

“The Movement” Long-Form Video

Execution

To help drive awareness across the country, we collaborated with Fred Rogers Productions – creator of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood and, more recently, Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood. Dedicated to making the world a better place for future generations, it was the perfect partner for the campaign.

As a Fred Rogers Productions underwriter, we were given :15 nation-wide recognition spots before and after every episode of Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood. For these :15 spots, we created a series of true oners – each created with a single camera and shot in one single, fluid motion from start to finish.

“Vet” :15 Spot
 

“Mechanic” :15 Spot
 

Behind the Scenes
 

Through the magic of two concentric turntables that rotated in opposite directions, we were able to seamlessly navigate between the dream-like moments that defined four children’s lives, ultimately leading them to become the individuals they are today. The end result? 15-second mini-movies that bucked the typical “proud supporter of …” tropes in favor of cinematic visuals that connected with children just as much as their parents.

In addition to the TV spots, we created a new microsite, 529forCollege.com, which communicated our mission and served as a content hub with custom articles, stories and testimonials. It also houses custom content created by Fred Rogers Productions.

529 College Savings Plans National Awareness Website

529 College Savings Plans National Awareness Mobile Website

529forCollege.com Microsite
 

529 College Savings Plans Fred Rogers Productions Partnership

529 College Savings Plans Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood Activity Sheets

Custom Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood + 529 Activity Sheets
 


Hundreds of hours were also put into earned PR and social. We combined national efforts with local and regional efforts from each contributing partner through the use of a toolkit we put together, which contained videos, photography, sample layouts and talking points.

529 College Savings Plans Logo and Branding

529 College Savings Plans Brand Standards Manual

529 College Savings Plans Social Media Posts with Stats




Results

We launched the campaign on March 4, 2019, with national and local PR alongside the TV spots, microsite and social media. In the first week alone, we generated press valuing the equivalent of 3% of our total 18-month ad buy, and we increased social media engagements by 580% over the previous week.

Over the course of the entire campaign – which ended on September 18, 2020 – we garnered 191.4M impressions through our partnership with Fred Rogers Productions. Our social media efforts amassed more than 976,000 impressions, and we saw significant increases in followers and engagement compared to pre-campaign. Our microsite has had more than 40,000 unique visitors, and we received hundreds of PR mentions, including high-profile mentions from publications such as New York Times, Forbes and CNBC, which reached an estimated ad value of more than $210,000.

Most importantly, after our 18-month campaign, we saw an increase in awareness and use of 529s. Based on our primary research:

  • Awareness of 529 plans increased by 40%, from 32% to 45% (goal was 42%)
  • Connection of 529 plans to education increased by 54%, from 22% to 34% (goal was 32%)
  • Use of a 529 plan to save increased by 33%, from 12% to 16% (goal was 15%)
  • The total amount saved in 529s increased at a record amount at 19% in 2019