Winner: AOL - AOL's Homepage for Heroes
To raise awareness and support for U.S. military personnel and their families, AOL launched a program that used social actions to trigger the donation of one million minutes of talk time for USO's Operation Phone Home Program, which provides troops with a free way to stay connected with friends and family.
The AOL communications team of Blair Cobb, John LaMarca and Kristin Ciccone, created the microsite AOL.com/heroes, which invited consumers to take simple (and free) actions to support the cause. Participants received weekly reminder e-mails to visit the microsite and continue to support the cause, ultimately to help AOL reach the goal of one million minutes donated.
Facebook and Twitter drove awareness and traffic to the microsite, where visitors were invited to write digital 'Thank You' messages to troops, which were filtered and displayed on AOL's Homepage for Heroes site. The microsite also featured a thermometer-like tracker enabling consumers to see AOL's progress towards the overall goal. Each time a participant took a specific action on the microsite the tracker would reflect the additional minutes and consumers were able to update their friends on how many minutes they had donated.
The goal of donating one million minutes was reached on June 28th, 2012. Social media generated over a million impressions, bringing in more than 30,000 new AOL.com homepage users.
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