The IXMA‘s very own Erik Hauser is a star! His campaign for client Wells Fargo has made it into the pages of the venerable magazine Time. In an article called “The ABC’s of Money,” the writer describes a teen and young adult marketplace that is, bluntly, ignorant about managing money.


Never has a generation of young people spent so much money yet understood so little about how to manage it. Over the past decade, the average credit-card debt of Americans ages 18 to 24 doubled, to nearly $3,000. Among high school seniors, 4 out of 5 have never taken a personal-finance class, but nearly half have an ATM debit card, and more than a quarter have bounced a check, according to a survey of 5,775 teens, released in April by the nonprofit JumpStart Coalition for Financial Literacy. If those trends continue, declaring bankruptcy could become as common as earning a bachelor’s degree.

In response, Erik’s firm Swivel Media, developed Stagecoach Island:

San Francisco– based Wells Fargo Bank has launched an online role-playing video game aimed at teaching teens and young adults the basics of financial management–with no strings attached, although Wells Fargo wouldn’t object if users ended up opening accounts at the bank.

The immersive video game experience gets players to think about money in a fun, interactive and aspirational way. Hauser got it right when he is quoted saying: “They’re used to instant messaging, instant gratification and instant pudding. We had to find an approach that wasn’t dry or static.”

Stagecoach Island is a great example of experiential marketing taken to the virtual world. It would be no surprise, therefore, to take the campaign to the physical one. Hey Erik, when is the roadshow coming to my town?

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