Slack, a digital headquarters and messaging platform, is featuring real Kiva staff and borrowers in its global campaign
“Coordinating a complex world of crowdfunded loans in record time…”; the opening line of Slack’s global marketing video campaign, which highlights organizations making the impossible, achievable, is a succinct representation of the incredible work being done at Kiva.
Launched on May 30, 2022, Slack’s marketing campaign video tells the story of Kiki Bryant, a real Kiva US borrower who was funded for a loan in under one hour. Featuring both Kiki and Kathy Guis, vice president of investments at Kiva, the campaign celebrates the amazing work that happens each and every day at Kiva.
The story of Kiva: Creating change from remote locations
Through Kiva, anyone around the world can offer loans in increments as small as $5 to borrowers in more than 80 countries who might otherwise have limited access to financial services. Since 2005, Kiva has funded over $1.7 billion in loans to more than 4.5 million borrowers.
With headquarters in San Francisco, six international offices, and remote teams throughout the world, Kiva relies on Slack as its digital HQ where everyone can work together to keep things running smoothly. It was because of this alignment that Slack selected Kiva to focus on in the campaign. Kiva’s teams work together from around the world, breaking down silos while authorizing 200,000 microloans a year, from over 2 million lenders so far.
“We have loan reps all over the world working on approvals,” says Guis, “Then we have our engineering team getting each loan live. From there, our marketing team launches campaigns, gets the word out, and communicates to our global community of lenders—everyday people—to fulfill these loans.”
As Kiva grew from a team of four into the 150+ staff that it is today, old ways of collaborating quickly proved insufficient. “With so many moving parts—global staff, a partner network of 300 organizations, millions of microtransactions and borrowers—emails and one-off chat tools weren’t getting the job done,” Guis says.
Highlighting a real Kiva US borrower
Featured in the campaign is designer and author Kiki Bryant, a Kiva US borrower. Kiki was inspired to launch a business after realizing she needed better resources for her family. “I noticed a gap in the children’s book market in the representation of families that look like mine,” she says.
This motivated Kiki to write and illustrate the socially conscious children’s book Lollipop Lola and the Power of Yet, complete with aspirations for Lola-themed merchandise. She finished her book in a week but, like many U.S. borrowers, could not get funded—until she found Kiva.
“I like that it’s based on loans,” she says. “They’re saying: ‘I believe in you enough that I know this is coming back to me.’ ”
Kiki’s book was funded in less than an hour. “More than anything else, it validated my idea,” she says. “People believed they needed it, and wanted to see it. I really needed it, too.” Her second book is already on its way to shelves.
The Slack team collaborated with Kiva for the global campaign, helping ensure each detail of the microloan funding process was accurately portrayed. After weeks of behind-the-scenes work on scope, scripts, and coordinating schedules, the planning efforts culminated in a gathering on-set for the final commercial shoot this past April. Kathy, Kiki, and a few additional Kiva staff enjoyed a day of wardrobe fittings, brightly colored sets, and an enthusiasm for Kiva’s mission and work.
"We’re proud to feature Kiva as a customer in our international campaign, highlighting their efforts to make the impossible achievable by expanding financial access across the globe."
- Colin McRae, VP Brand Marketing & Creative Strategy @ Slack
In addition to the video features, the campaign will include a Kiva customer story on https://slack.com/customer-stories and several opportunities for Slack and Kiva staff to participate in media interviews to share the incredible story of Kiva, and how Slack helps connect its global workforce. Together, Kiva and Slack are definitely making the impossible, achievable.