Superheroes to the rescue
Put this tool in your utility belt
When CenterPoint Energy needed to generate excitement for its United Way giving drive, they turned to some unlikely folks for help.
The Blue Flame, Energy Force, Major Setback, The Mysterious Matrix, Pipeline and Power Arc all showed up to get the word out about the campaign.
These superheroes appeared on the campaign’s posters and messages to leaders. Some even made personal appearances: CenterPoint employees wore superhero costumes to United Way campaign kickoff meetings and in the community for a movie.
Over the years, thanks to blockbuster campaigns like this one, CenterPoint has seen participation climb from 46% in 2007 to 63 percent in 2012 campaign, reports Lisa Foronda, CenterPoint Energy Community Relations supervisor.
And total employee contributions have risen from $1.2 million in 2007 to $1.64 million in 2012.
Drive action with superheroes.
Of the 25 million employees in the United States who are eligible to contribute to flexible spending accounts (FSAs), fewer than 5 million — some 20% — actually contribute.
That’s too bad. FSAs let employees save pre-tax dollars through payroll deductions for eligible health care and dependent care expenses. Depending on your tax bracket, FSAs can save you up to 35% on doctor’s visits and cough syrup.
Ceridian administers FSAs for 2,400 client companies. These companies employ 3 million staffers who were eligible to contribute to flexible spending accounts. Still, only a fraction actually participated.
To boost participation, communicators developed an awareness campaign.
Their goal: to increase the number of people enrolled in Ceridian-administered FSAs by 1.5% to 2%.
At he center of this campaign was Flexman and his sidekick Piggy Bank. “[We] decided that a cartoon superhero would have the widest appeal and garner the most attention,” says Christine Miller, whose Millerwood Communications worked on the campaign. Flexman starred in some animated Web cartoons, which Ceridian shared with its client companies for distribution to their eligible employees.
Flexman garnered attention and drove employees to act. The campaign increased enrollment by 14.7% — about seven times the original goal.
Communicate your mission, vision and values.
Superheroes can also be a great tool for bringing your mission, vision and values to life.
These corporate messages, designed to drive behavior toward the organization’s biggest goals, often languish in 6-point type in annual reports and on the backs of business cards. Instead, personify your values with superheroes.