Here's the blow-away number: only launched in November and the site already has 15,000 members, according to the project visionary, Ami Kassar, Chief Innovation Officer (that's a well-earned title). Totally viral, although it was originally introduced to all Advanta members. Two months in development on a proprietary platform. Six in staff working on the project. All user-generated content.
Do the math: even with the prizes, the lawyers, the development, Advanta can't have budgeted more than $1 million on this, and it's only going to grow, even with a declining level of investment, if Advanta chooses to continue to rely on viral growth.
How does that compare to what American Express paid for giant spreads in the New York Times last year alone? Of course, Advanta has to convert members into card users, or does it? Kassar hints that the true objective is to give their card members a sense of other Advanta capabilities... stay tuned.