Social Media Campaign Review: American Express Scours Talent Through Campus Centurion Challenge 2013

American Express Centurion Campus Campaign

The Campus Centurion Challenge 2013 is here. As part of American Express’s campus communication strategy, this initiative aims at enhancing the analytical and decision making skills of students while enriching their knowledge of the credit card economics in general. This is the third year of the challenge.

Objectives

The American Express Campus Centurion Challenge 2013 is a simulation game organized by American Express.  The objective of this game is to provide students with a pedagogical and professional experience with regard to certain aspects of the credit card industry. It is also a platform which gives them the opportunity to explore analytics from a practical perspective.

In the first challenge in 2011, participants built a comprehensive youth marketing strategy and created a payment solution targeted to the fastest growing segment in India—business savvy students.

Execution

The Game is open to second year students of two year PG program from IIM Ahmedabad, IIM Bangalore, IIM Calcutta, IIM Indore, IIM Kozhikode, IIM Lucknow, XLRI and MDI Gurgaon campuses.

To participate, students are required to register online in teams, each having no more than 3 members.

A Facebook application has been created to engage B-school students, invite participation, and engage audience in the eco-system. A link on the landing page redirects prospective participants to the Amex Careers microsite.

Prizes: The winning team gets a PPI opportunity for recruitment at American Express India and promised a career with American Express. On offer are iPads, Samsung phones and Kindles.

campus centurion challenge american express

Positives

To build awareness and recall among B-Schools, and enhance participation, the game is being promoted on the American Express Facebook page this year.

The long-term goal is to build long term recall around Amex Careers; the challenge in the third year now is a continuous and consistent effort by American Express targeting business savvy students. In times when most people lament the lack of practical edge of management education such simulation games reflect the commitment of large banking service providers towards this end.

The prizes seem to do it all in this case with iPads, Samsung phones and Kindles and not to forget a PPI opportunity for recruitment at American Express India and promised a career with American Express.  All these prizes are those that any management student will compete for.

The campaign is being aggressively promoted on Facebook. Updates on qualifier rounds and participating teams are on the page.

Scope for Improvement

Perhaps some noise on Twitter could have boosted participation for this contest.

One thing that stands out is that though the game is committed to scouring the best talent, by keeping it open only to IIM students the American Express seems to regard all management students as either “IIM’ers or “Non-IIM”ers.

By opening up participation to all B-schools the endeavor could have been truly “social”.  Simply promoting it on social media platforms or hosting it on Facebook does not make it “social”.

Additionally, the use of shortened urls in their Facebook posts would have helped them track their click data.

Conclusion

All in all, the campaign is well designed and implemented with real time decision making in limited time, usage of Game Theory concepts, learn various aspects of the credit card industry and encouraging the enhancement of analytics from a practical standpoint.

A good endeavor by American Express to attract some of the best young talent in India while building a strong brand image for itself but one that could have a wider scope and reach.

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