Case Study: Penn Mutual

Making a Difference by
Supporting a unique sponsorship



The digitally savvy, always engaged millennial audience is Penn Mutual’s next generation customer and employee—but they’re not always easy to reach. Capturing their attention requires deep insight into their online habits. In an effort to develop and leverage this depth of insight, Penn Mutual asked us to conduct an audit of their digital communications. The findings from our Discovery effort would inform Penn Mutual’s approach to forging a stronger, more authentic connection with this crucial demographic.

Securing a target audience

Our Discovery entailed an analysis of Penn Mutual’s online presence, identification of core insights, and recommendations for new communications strategies. Our team found areas of success and opportunities for improvement, underscored top performing content across Penn Mutual’s social channels, and suggested user experience enhancements for their website. Equipped with this knowledge, Penn Mutual was able to chart their next steps for reaching the millennial audience.

Building a new community

After meeting with Archer, Penn Mutual established rugby sponsorships, including The Penn Mutual Varsity Cup and The Penn Mutual Collegiate Rugby Championship. This made the brand a visible presence on college campuses—the home of their desired demographic. Our challenge was to digitally scale this connection. Penn Mutual had already begun touting their sponsorship via TV spots, but they didn’t have an online space to which they could direct and convert this energy. So we got to work building them one. Against an aggressive timeline, our developers began production on a microsite.


Working off of design mockups our partner provided, we built the microsite in three days. The fully-responsive, visually dynamic site added a new dimension to Penn Mutual’s digital presence—where rugby fans can now explore video content, learn more about the sponsorship, and sign up for the brand’s rugby newsletter. The site also features a photo gallery that curates approved Twitter posts and images via #RugbyIsLife.

Drive Brand Awareness through the sponsorship

We recognized that, through rugby, Penn Mutual had made a real connection with millennials on college campuses. Next, we recommended Penn Mutual amplify the sponsorship through social media. Showcasing the brand’s voice and personality, while reinforcing its connection with the rugby audience, was a crucial next-step. With our experience in cross-platform social strategy and reporting, we were the right partner to develop content, and prove effectiveness, for this facet of their rugby initiative.

Content that resonates

We started with a commitment to authenticity—creating a conversational voice that reflects the way college students actually talk about the sport. Penn Mutual’s social content would also reflect the broader rugby journey, highlighting the participant and spectator experiences that typify the sport. And, with Facebook targeting—among other media strategies—we ensured this messaging would find the desired audience.

ANNUAL INCREASE in total followers on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter

Social contests

To continue using the sponsorship to generate brand awareness and affinity, we helped develop a variety of social contests for Penn Mutual.  Our Life Lessons in Sports challenge activated the brand’s social community by inviting fans to share a life lesson they learned from an athletic experience, then holding a vote to determine the top submission. This execution engaged a range of sports fans, while reinforcing Penn Mutual’s association with athletics.

Live event support

Following a year of social success, we took our partnership a step further by providing on-the-ground support for their rugby tournaments. Archer employees attended each weekend game of The Penn Mutual Collegiate Rugby Championship, and took the lead on photography, social content creation, and fan engagement.

The Scoreboard

Games Supported during CRC event

Photos Taken to support event messaging

Unique Social Users Reached through resulting campaign content

Satisfying ongoing content needs

In online spaces, content with a strong visual component outperforms the alternatives. To ensure the ongoing success of the campaign, we had to devise systems for creating and collecting dynamic rugby-related imagery.

Asset Production

Our team got a head start on the challenge with our social contests, which generated fan photo submissions and UGC that, coupled with our own onsite event photography, gradually built a library of evergreen imagery. We also developed strategies for ongoing content creation, such as a Facebook Live stream, day-of player interviews, and additional videos that would drive viewers to the microsite.

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