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Back to the Yard

An event from JPMorgan Chase that brings financial wellness to Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in a fun and engaging way

Lead Designer – 2D design (print, digital and merchandise) and 3D design (3D rendering and installation)

Overview

The Experience

How can we give students financial wellness in the most fun way possible?

Problem

My Role

Why is going back to school Fall 2021 such a big deal? 

What exactly did I produce as the lead designer on this project?

No More Virtual School!

Fall 2021, thousands of Black Gen-Z students traveled back to HBCU campuses to either start or continue their education. This year, due to the previous virtual school year, not only freshmen were new to campus but sophomores as well. Returning seniors were last on campus as freshmen! In order to supply these frenzied students with an arsenal of financial wellness assets, we launched Back To The Yard at 3 pilot college campuses: Howard University (The Mecca), Delaware State University and Florida A&M University.

The Survival Kits

You can survive, but can you thrive? University faculty chose prominent students to receive a Back To The Yard Survival Kit that was loaded down with the necessary tools to start a financial health journey. See the included items below!

The Financial Survival Scavenger Hunts

Just giving away merchandise is boring! We came up with the idea to send the students on a scavenger hunt to build excitement and engagement. Each school emailed the clues and posted them on their social media accounts so every student would be eligible to participate – even graduate students! The scavenger hunts were catered to their respective schools and all of the clues related to finances! Students were encouraged to take pictures of each stop and #B2TY and tag @Chase to prove they successfully completed the tasks.

The Locker Installation

The last stop on the scavenger hunt was the Chase locker installation! We created the lockers in Chase’s logo to hold prizes for the students. The first 15 students received a key matching the number they arrived, and were able to open the corresponding locker! Each locker held a drawstring bag filled with school swag from Legacy History Pride, Chase merchandise, Southwest gift cards, and items from the Survival Kits. The students had such a positive experience participating in the scavenger hunt and winning prizes! And no worries if they weren’t the first 15; everyone else was welcome to a drawstring bag of Chase merch.

Bonus: The Fireside Chat with Kevin Hart

Sometimes the stars align! Kevin Hart, Chase’s Brand Ambassador, just happened to be in Washington D.C. the day of Howard’s activation so we were able to utilize him! He brought his Hart of it All talk to their auditorium to chat with students about his own financial wellness journey. He had a general talk with all students, then a more intimate conversation with art and business majors. At Howard, the end of the first chat signified the beginning of the scavenger hunt!

My Role as Lead Designer

As the lead designer, just about everything that you can see at this event went through me: the installation, the print assets, the digital promotions, the Survival Kit items, the staff uniforms, etc! A plethora of unseen things were also designed by me including installation site maps, scavenger hunt maps, and even digital graphics for Kevin Hart's personal message to the students who received Survival Kits.

This was my first time as lead designer for an experiential marketing event. It was such an enriching experience to see my work go from simple sketches to fully formed installations and graphics. I had such a blast working with the Chase and university clients and it was so gratifying to travel to the schools and see everything unfold in real time. I know I'll take so many new skills gained from this project into my future work!

The Team

Liana Eckert, Design Oversight
Naya Whitehall, Account Lead
Brionna Simons, Account Oversight
Cesar Cabrera, Production Lead
Chauncie Burton, Strategy Lead

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