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February 09, 2010

How to Rebuild a American Life's Trust Factor

Screen shot 2010-02-09 at 9.10.01 AM How does that old adage go... "You can't argue with success"? This week in Ag Age (the magazine) we can see the success of women-based values manifesting themselves throughout a marketing campaign. 

In this example, women are giving the stodgy property and casualty insurance business a marketing makeover. To be more specific, a branding makeover of the American Family Insurance Company which offers auto, homeowners, life, health, commercial and farm/ranch insurance. Marketing insurance is normally pretty boring and legally restrictive. This campaign blows the doors off of "that was then..."

First, the success numbers...

"...the branded-entertainment campaigns yielded a total of more than 100 million gross impressions across NBC, CBS Radio, MSN and MTVU properties, along with a double-digit increase in web traffic to AmFam.com and a 36% increase in unaided recall of the branded programs. "In Gayle We Trust" was also streamed 3.5 million times at NBC.com, while the accompanying MSN microsite logged 700,000 unique visits."

Second, the anchor concept...

A 10-week digital series called "In Gayle We Trust," centered on the lives of fictional townspeople of Maple Grove. It's a take-off of "The Office" genre. The main character is an Insurance agent, Gayle Evans who is part advisor and part sounding board for the small town she serves. You can watch one of the short and very funny episodes here.

Third, the real life characters who facilitated it's launch in September 2009...

Screen shot 2010-02-09 at 7.22.09 AM Congrats to American Life CMO, Lisa Bacus for saying YES to a smart, resonating concept and for taking a stand that, "branding should always prevail over tactics." In the American Life campaign, the branding keeps it honest by anchoring its stories in topics taken from AL's policy holders - real people with real issues. Then it gives them a half-twist of hilarity before going live in an In Gayle We Trust episode. 

Screen shot 2010-02-09 at 7.55.02 AM Congrats to American Life Ad Director, Telisa Yancy for her hand in merging the efforts of Mindshare Entertainment, CBS Radio, MTVU, NBC, MSN to obtain the best reach.

Screen shot 2010-02-09 at 7.49.48 AM  

Screen shot 2010-02-09 at 7.48.03 AM

Congrats to the mini-show's star, Elisa Donovan who goes for the laugh, but honors the intention of the moment. And to the show's writer (from the Office) Brent Forrester, who keeps his feminine-cliche-side in check while capturing the irony of the situations.

Lastly, congrats to financial tip guru, Liz Weston for providing the financial-facts-when-you-need-them, underscoring the seriousness side of insurance. When your finances are under attack, Liz is that trusted advisor who gives you the tips you need on Building a Brighter Future site.  

This gathering of like minds created a campaign that is insightful, entertaining and something we can trust to deliver solid education year-after-year. In Gayle and Friends We Trust. 

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