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Inside Nationwide’s “Paws and Racing” Digital Contest (Case Study)

Aside from Gus, it’s hard to name another dog whose picture has graced magazine covers and is, at the ripe age of two, a published author.

Gus has accomplished more than the average pooch, thanks to his owner and famed NASCAR driver, Dale Earnhardt Jr. In a recent campaign, Earnhardt and Nationwide gave other pet owners a chance to offer their animals the same types of opportunities as Gus.

By entering Nationwide’s Paws and Racing contest, one lucky owner could have his or her pet featured on the No. 88 Chevrolet, and could meet Gus and Earnhardt in the flesh. They could also enroll their animal for the same pet insurance as Gus.

The Challenge

Nationwide—Earnhardt’s (and Gus’) primary insurance provider—sought to increase leads around its pet insurance.

Its team wanted to combine Earnhardt’s love of animals with a digital contest to engage Junior Nation pet owners and boost the number of quotes. Having already been successful with paint scheme contests in the past, the team pitched the idea of rewarding one winner a spotlight on Earnhardt’s car in the upcoming New Hampshire 300.

Zoomph’s main task was to bring the contest to life, to support it throughout its lifetime, and to provide data on all entries and participants.

The Concept

Zoomph built the Paws and Racing landing page using its Microsite Builder. The page featured a fluid, visual design illustrating the three steps for participating in the contest.
 

nationwide paws and racing contest site View live site

 
Participants were asked to upload a picture of their pets and earn more likes on their photos by sharing about their participation online. ‘Likes’ from the landing page would count as votes and would ultimately decide the winner of the contest.

The landing page leveraged custom forms that allowed visitors to upload their submissions directly from the page. Visitors could easily view other submission, or vote, through a photo hub at the bottom of the page as well.

On the backend, the Zoomph platform collected and stored all entries. The Nationwide team could view or moderate entries from the platform, and could analyze participant data at any time. This gave the campaign team immediate insight into the demographics and performance of participants.

The campaign team used this data, alongside information collected at submission, for a post-contest retargeting strategy. This strategy would personalize social ads towards a person’s unique interests (e.g., pet insurance for a bunny rather than a dog).

The Result

paws and racing contest results

Zoomph worked closely with Wasserman, Nationwide’s sports marketing agency, to build, launch, and complete the Paws and Racing contest.

“This is probably our best campaign we’ve executed on behalf of Nationwide when it comes to entries and an ROI standpoint,” Lee Schwemmer, campaign lead and director of social media and insights at Wasserman, told Zoomph.

Schwemmer’s team launched Paws and Racing aiming to receive at least 20,000 entries. By the end of the two-month-long contest, the team had over 25,000 submissions—over twice as many entries as the last Junior Nation contest.

The team also reaped attention on social media. Across 22 Facebook and Instagram posts and 30 tweets promoting the contest, the team earned 112,000 engagements and over 4.8 million impressions.

This only helped to secure @Nationwide88’s (a handle managed by Schwemmer’s team) status as the most-followed sponsor on social media within NASCAR with the largest footprint of any handle within Nationwide’s enterprise of social accounts.

When asked what he learned from the campaign, Schwemmer said with a chuckle, “Everybody loves their animals and are willing to show them off whenever and wherever they can.”

It’s worth mentioning that his team was pleasantly surprised by the diversity of submissions from the campaign. Aside from dogs, participants shared about and requested quotes for their rabbits, lizards, and “animals that you had no idea that people could own.”

Schwemmer attributed the success of Paws and Racing in part to an improved user experience. Compared to landing pages and microsites used for prior campaigns, the Paws and Racing page was smoother and easier to use. Visitors could easily read instructions, enter, and vote for their favorite photos all from one window.

About the Zoomph team whom he worked with, Schwemmer also had one very kind thing to say: “The customer service there is beyond anything that I’ve ever dealt with. I just really appreciate all their hard work there.”

 
Need a starting point for your digital contest? Holler at us!
 

Topics:
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Digital Marketing & Strategy
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