The $1 Million Bet

A generosity test with a surprise payoff.



In the last two years, we’ve seen a decline in charitable giving coinciding with an economic crisis that has pushed 65% of Americans to live paycheck to paycheck.

While launching its new mission, Chime wanted to differentiate itself from other banks that often profit from people’s financial problems. The digital bank believes that even when people are struggling financially they still give what they can.



What would people do when given more money than they needed? Would they take all the money or split it with a stranger?

Chime and AKQA decided to answer these questions through a unique generosity test.

Without sharing the details of the experiment, Chime asked what people would do if they had the money needed for a short-term goal. From 78 submissions, ten with standout stories were selected and five were surprised with the money that they needed.

The amount was then doubled, and a choice was presented: keep it all or split it with a stranger. American entertainer Wayne Brady was the experiment host. Wayne spoke with each participant one-on-one, learning their story and financial situation before presenting the ultimatum.



Hope in humanity.

The $1 Million Bet launched across all of Chime’s social channels. Per the most recent results, it had over 115 million views and 375 million total impressions, surpassing all other activations to date.

It was the focal point of a broader communication initiative that saw Chime rank in the 85th percentile for the cares about its customers category, a 15% rise year-on-year, and the 99th for gaining in popularity, as measured by a WPP tracking tool.

These results showcase the positive energy and momentum reflected further in the comments worldwide, highlighting viewers’ appreciation for the brand and reinforcing an already strong perception. Comments from viewers sparked passionate emotions, including “Chime is shining a light on the great capabilities of people” and “this is why I love Chime, keep giving blessings, and it will come back to you.”