Urban Ministries of Durham Case study SPENT by McKinney Durham


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Industry Charities, Foundations, Volunteers
Media Case study
Market United States
Agency McKinney Durham
Art Director Nick Thornton-Jones
Copywriter Jenny Nicholson
Designer Able Parris
Producer Carmen Bocanegra
Released February 2011

Credits & Description

Category: Titanium and Integrated
Agency: McKINNEY
Date of First Appearance: Feb 8 2011
Entry URL: http://www.playspent.org/
Chief Creative Officer: Jonathan Cude (McKinney)
Art Director: Nick Jones (McKinney)
Copywriter: Jenny Nicholson (McKinney)
Producer: Carmen Bocanegra (McKinney)
Production Coordinator: Lizzie Ruiz (McKinney)
Programmer: Josh Barber, Matt Hisamoto (McKinney)
Quality Assurance Specialist: Joseph Levinski (McKinney)
Studio Artist: Karla Mickens (McKinney)
Sound Design: Roger Lima (WhiteNoise | Lab)
Director, Agency Communications: Janet Northen (McKinney)
Agency Communications Manager: Joel Richardson (McKinney)
Designer: Able Parris (McKinney)
Media placement: SPENT Website - Internet - February 8, 2011
Media placement: Social Sharing - Facebook Connect - February 8, 2011

Describe the campaign/entry
You’d never end up homeless, right? Here’s your chance to prove it. SPENT, a social game created for Urban Ministries of Durham, challenges you to make it through a month on only $1,000. As you play, the site uses gaming mechanics and a unique Facebook strategy to put you directly in the shoes of someone on the brink of homelessness. Over 500,000 have taken the challenge. Will you?

Describe how the campaign/entry was launched across each channel in the order of implementation
One of the unique things about SPENT is the social sharing mechanism we embedded in the experience. At various points in the game, to avoid running out of money, you can choose to ask a friend for help. We used Facebook Connect to make that choice literal — which gave people an emotional experience and helped us share the game. Earned media was huge for SPENT. Media coverage on Fox News, ABC News, CNN and NPR boosted awareness. And tens of thousands of individuals shared the site with their social networks, helping us spread the word.

Give some idea of how successful this campaign/entry was with both client and consumer
In one month, SPENT garnered over 500,000 unique visits, with an average time on site of over 10 minutes.

After the game launched, traffic to Urban Ministries of Durham’s website increased more than 2,000 percent, from an average of 50 visits per day to well over 1,000.

SPENT has been adopted as a teaching tool from elementary schools to universities across the United States, including North Carolina, Virginia, Michigan, Nebraska and California.