Upromise Launches Premier Campaign

Upromise, the customer loyalty and college savings program developed by Michael Bronner, founder and former CEO of Digitas, has launched its first national ad campaign.

A series of five 60-second radio spots for the Brookline, Mass., company begin airing this week in 22 markets. Spots employ the line “A new way to save for college” and feature Bronner’s voiceover describing how the program works and inviting parents to take part.

The effort from Boston’s Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos will run for about a month and be followed by a print component later this year, a Upromise representative said.

The budget was not disclosed but is believed to exceed $10 million this year.

Hill, Holliday won direct marketing chores but initially lost out on the Upromise ad account to Interpublic Group of Cos. sister shop McCann-Erickson, New York, in a review last year. Upromise delayed its launch before consolidating its marketing with Hill, Holliday earlier this year without a review.

Upromise says customers who sign up for free will have a percentage of their purchases set aside in college savings accounts for kids they designate. AT&T, for example, has agreed to contribute 4% of residential long distance charges. Accounts are to be managed by Fidelity Investments or Salomon Smith Barney. Participating companies include Citibank, Coca-Cola, CVS, ExxonMobil, General Motors, McDonald’s, Toys “R” Us, America Online and Borders Group.

Bronner founded Upromise after selling his controlling stake in Boston marketing agency Digitas to Hellmen & Friedman, an investment firm in San Francisco.