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Citibank College Case Study

The Challenge


Citi struggled with how to communicate in a consistent but relevant way to college students. The market had become fiercely competitive, with the target audience being exposed to an average of 3,000 media messages each day. It was critical to communicate the Citi brand in a way that cut through the clutter, resonated with this highly profitable audience, and could be leveraged across various business initiatives and channels




We uncovered two key insights. The first was the need for credit education, both short- and long-term, that would be relevant to a student's life stage. The second, was the strong channel preference for the Internet.


Armed with this information, we developed integrated communications focusing on credit education and responsibility across multiple channels, with a heavy Internet focus. The communications captured the target audience's attention, with a decidedly unbank-like approach featuring unexpected youthful photography, humorous yet sophisticated copy, and relevant offers wrapped in the credit education platform.




*       Citi is the #1 issuer of credit cards to the college market, and business performance continues to improve year after year.

*       Citi branding is now completely integrated across all college marketing activities.

*       Citi has raised the standard for credit education among young adults by providing the necessary knowledge and tools needed to learn about and improve financial responsibility.

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