Lincoln Financial Group’s announcement that its new advertising campaign will contain social media cues could be a harbinger of things to come as financial services companies ramp up holiday season marketing efforts.
Lincoln’s new “Then and Now” campaign juxtaposes images of people as they appeared in the past and as they are now, as if the snapshots had been posted on Facebook or Instagram.
The ad campaign launched earlier this month and runs through the end of the year in print, digital and broadcast platforms.
“Our new campaign is designed to celebrate the individuals and formative moments in life that, when looking back, made us who we are today,” Dave Wozniak, vice president and head of Advertising and Sponsorships for Lincoln Financial Group, said in a news release.
Underlying Lincoln’s campaign are the key themes of changing family budgets, the evolving composition of the modern American family and the importance of rethinking retirement. Each theme features images of people as they look now and as they appeared many years ago.
“Many financial services firms leverage family images and other references that attempt to relate to the everyday life of an investor, though the results are not always similar,” said Carl Uttaro, a director of financial services research at Phoenix Marketing International and an expert in financial service marketing campaigns.
Even in the more conservative and “serious” financial services segments of the economy, advertising and branding campaigns have found relevance in connecting with people, Uttaro said.
The importance of social networking and its relationship to building a business is more prevalent in the campaigns than it used to be, Uttaro told InsuranceNewsNet.
Not all ad campaigns resonate with consumers.
One particularly effective ad campaign, by Charles Schwab, features different family interactions, such as a father and young son walking together or an adult daughter jogging with her retired father.
The message of these ads is centered around questioning the status quo of how and why, the family's money is being managed a certain way. Schwab's ads have been noted for being extremely relevant and thought-provoking, and have helped impact investors' consideration of utilizing the firm's services.
With the growth of social media, virtual “friends” and even Internet-based algorithms that no longer require face-to-face contact, connecting and staying in touch with clients and prospective customers remains a relevant topic, Uttaro said.
Connecting with people isn’t limited to Lincoln’s ad campaign. The company’s website also has been revamped, segmented along the needs of people or groups: “individuals,” “employers or organizations” and “financial professionals.”
“Relaunching our corporate website is a foundational step in Lincoln Financial’s ongoing efforts to connect with consumers, organizations and financial professionals on their terms,” Patrick Ohlin, vice president and head of brand for Lincoln Financial Group, said in a news release.
Carriers from Guardian Life to Nationwide Financial to Jackson National have revamped their websites and done away with a product-centric approach in favor of a people-centric model.
Headed into extinction are the static, product-centric websites that governed life insurance carriers for many years. Today, links to videos make it easier and more compelling to feature people, storytelling and life-stage narratives.
John Hancock’s “Life Comes Next” campaign transports viewers through chapters titled “The Walk,” “The Sixth Floor,” “The Question,” “The Meeting,” “The Call” and “The Knock,” once a visitor moves beyond the company’s homepage.
In fact, nearly every webpage on John Hancock’s website features images of people and the company’s connections to them.
InsuranceNewsNet Senior Writer Cyril Tuohy has covered the financial services industry for more than 15 years. Cyril may be reached at [email protected].
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