Knowledge: Case study - Western Union

Western Union looked to engage consumers on a more emotional level with its latest campaign, as Kim Benjamin found out.

Western Union wanted its campaign to align with Diwali's celebratory essence
Western Union wanted its campaign to align with Diwali's celebratory essence


Agency Undercurrent has been working with financial services company Western Union on campaigns that highlight niche demographics to communicate the brand's key services. The agency identified communities, locations and date-precise time frames relevant to the markets on which the brand is focused.

Disciplines including digital, experiential, social, PR and the media have all revolved around a central creative treatment.

The Hindu festival Diwali, or 'Festival of Lights', is celebrated every autumn and is an important time for Western Union customers, so the brand's communication needed to connect on an emotive level.

A global rebrand had enabled Western Union to change its marketing from price-led activity to an emotional engagement with its audience. It therefore wanted its campaign to align with Diwali's celebratory essence.


The activity ran for five weeks from mid-October and centred on sponsorships and activations. An educational vehicle visited key Indian touchpoints across the UK.

The tour arrived at some of the UK's biggest Diwali celebrations in London, Birmingham and Leicester, as well as a further 35 venues, including supermarkets with Western Union concessions such as Sainsbury's and Asda. An experiential space at each stop focused on solar panels and power lighting. Tablets showcased a digital game, with a light-up map of India pinpointing villages being illuminated during Diwali. Brand ambassadors engaged with consumers and giveaways included glow sticks and glow-in-the-dark T-shirts.


Activity measured at the end of week two of the five-week tour showed that the campaign had achieved a social reach of more than six million, and there had been more than 800 competition entries. New sign-ups for Western Union services had surpassed the 1,000 mark.

Alexia Kerdavid, marketing specialist, UK, Ireland & Nordics at Western Union, said: "Diwali is a celebration of happiness and a festival that enlightens every house. Undercurrent's month-long campaign has produced some fantastic results with new customer sign-ups going very well in the Indian community."

On Reflection

"Our approach was to build an emotional campaign with a strong brand experience amplification. It has allowed us to get the messaging across the Indian diaspora around the UK."

Alexia Kerdavid, marketing specialist, UK, Ireland & Nordics, Western Union.

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