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Discover Gets Customers Feeling Good

Discover Card, Riverwoods, IL, will use direct mail and statement inserts to support its “FeelGood Fridays” promotion, which the company kicked off this month.

Discover, issued by a business unit of Morgan Stanley Dean Witter & Co., is a general purpose credit and financial services card that boasts as a key feature annual payments to its users of up to 1 percent of their yearly purchases.

For FeelGood Fridays, Discover will give cardmembers a chance to win a $100 bonus award every time they use their cards for purchases on Fridays through Nov. 13. The company will randomly select cardmembers who make Friday purchases and notify them through their monthly statements.

A four-piece mailing for the promotion includes an introductory letter that outlines FeelGood Fridays and Cashback Bonus Days, a separate promotion. A bright yellow smiling face with an arched “FeelGood Fridays” overhead beams from a separate, single sheet touting cardmembers' chances to win the $100 bonus.

A pamphlet insert in the mailing titled “Cardmember Wise Buys” contains details on Discover's promotions with National Car Rental, RadioShack, Best Western hotels and florist 1-800-Flowers, among others.

Under the separate Cashback Bonus Days promotion, cardmembers get an extra 1 percent, up to $25, if they spend at least $100 on their cards between Sept. 1 and Oct. 31.

In addition to direct mail and statement inserts, Discover will have events and giveaways to raise visibility for FeelGood Fridays, which also will be supported through newspaper ads, radio, the Internet and wrapped buses.

“We want people to remember. We want them to use our card all the time, but we're giving them this special hook of Friday and saying every time you use your card on Friday, you have a special chance to win a hundred dollars from us,” said Lisa Lampert, Discover's senior vice president of marketing.

FeelGood Fridays is only one promotion in a much larger advertising launch. The new multimedia advertising campaign, which the company titled “Discover the Feeling,” includes television, print and Internet elements, and also uses media such as floor mats near grocery store checkouts, outdoor billboards, mass transit and gas pump handles that Discover hopes will link the card's benefits to the point of purchase.

“The advertising is really all about feeling good about the purchases that you make and using your Discover Card, and we felt like [FeelGood Fridays] was a natural offshoot of that,” Lampert said.

Three 30-second television spots for the campaign began airing Sept. 17, while the print portion is scheduled to begin airing in October. Four icons meant to evoke positive emotions — a star, sun, heart and the smiling face — appear throughout the campaign, which was created by DDB Needham/Chicago.

The ad campaign is part of an entirely new marketing strategy for Discover that includes high-profile promotions, new charity partnerships and added cardmember benefits.

“We've developed a new strategy that helps us strengthen our relationship with cardmembers, and it really raises our profile as a major contemporary brand,” Lampert said. “It includes new advertising, new partnerships and new opportunities for our cardmembers to benefit and get value from using their Discover card.”

Discover typically doesn't specify its advertising campaign budgets, Lampert said, though she indicated the company is spending more on the push than it has on past promotions.

“It's significant and it's an increase in investment from prior campaigns,” she said.

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