Doner Schur Peppler Advertising

Program raises profile, respectThe problemWhile Company 'X' is respected for its solid, dependable, conservative qualities, and is appreciated by its customers for the close relations it keeps with them, the company is unable to retain its current customers or convert new...

Program raises profile, respect

The problem

While Company ‘X’ is respected for its solid, dependable, conservative qualities, and is appreciated by its customers for the close relations it keeps with them, the company is unable to retain its current customers or convert new customers because key competitors have not only matched their products, but are offering additional ‘no-charge’ product – thereby removing any compelling point-of-difference from Company ‘X,’ causing the company to be seen as falling behind the times.

Where do we want to be?

For people who are 35+ years of age, Company ‘X’ is the only life insurance company that offers the ideal combination of a solid, dependable institution with the most innovative product line-up customized to the needs of each of its customers through every stage of their lives.

The media target

See brief, page 11.

Target/behavioral assumptions

Body Guard most likely appeals to travellers who do not always go to the same destination.

It has little appeal to u.s. property owners and traditional Snowbirds who are familiar with their destination(s.)

While Body Guard can only be used by current policyholders, there is no reason why applications for information could not be made from the u.s. (once the u.s. destination is reached.)

Company ‘X’ does not offer a health insurance product (for visitors to the u.s.), so there is no obstacle to a joint promotion with Blue Cross.

Company ‘X’ competes with the chartered banks (insurance); but there is no conflict with Amex (traveller’s cheques.)

Behaviorally, the target group likely splits into two groups:

- 35-55 years, who generally travel with children, are more adventurous, plan their vacations over the short term (3-6 months) and work under tight budgets; and

- 55 years-plus, who generally have no children at home, are more likely to travel to familiar destinations, are more cautious, often plan their vacations at least six months in advance, have a higher disposable income and are active in tennis, golf, and so on.

Media goal

In a low-interest product category, the goal is to deploy a two-stage communication program that will elevate the profile and raise the level of respect for Company ‘X’ in order to: 1) stop the erosion of current customers and 2) add new customers.

As well, the company must find a way to follow the customer through the travel planning/ booking process in order to exploit communication exposure opportunities as the target group(s) plan and prepare for their travel to the u.s.

Media Opportunities in the Travel Planning Process

Travel Process Media Opportunities

Awareness/ - Direct mail (current customers)

fact gathering - Travel sections – newspapers

- Gasoline companies (co-op)

- Public relations

Planning - Trip planning – CAA

- Travel sections – newspaper

- Travel agents – catalogue/brochure inserts

- Airlines/charters (co-op)

- Drug stores (co-op)

Book - Car rental (co-op)

- Blue Cross (co-op)

- AMEX Travelers Cheques (co-op)

Travel - Airport

- Border crossings

- In-flight magazines/video

- Outdoor on major U.S. north-south highways

- U.S. media directed at Canadians

Media tactics

Everything we do must directly contribute toward raising the profile and the level of respect for Company ‘X.’

Stage1 – Stop erosion of current customers

Undertake a direct mail program to all current customers (launch and follow-up) with the goal of getting them to raise their hands if they travel to the u.s. Ensure the mailing includes a business reply card/business reply fax form and return phone number.

Begin mid-June (about five months before major u.s. travel season) and continue through December.

Produce a demonstration video, free to current and new customers.

Stage 2 – Add new customers

Find benchmark media ideas that will raise respect and elevate advertising above expected ‘low category interest.’

Follow the customer through the travel planning process by allocating media choices/ weight according to the expected target group learning phases: learning and reminder.

Learning phase (August to December)

Daily newspapers – Combine full pages (plus second color) in first section with frequent quarter-page in weekly travel section.

Television – Execute a non-traditional tv plan. Concentrate only on local market buys and selective sponsorship of tv events/ newsbreaks (for example, Body Alive breaks) with opportunities for multiple commercial exposures and sponsorship billboards.

Radio – Investigate sponsorships of weather reports/uv-level reports, and so on. Tie in to Florida weather forecasts.

Co-op promotion – Investigate co-op promotion opportunities with: a gasoline company; the Canadian Automobile Association; travel agent(s); an airline/charter company; Blue Cross; Amex traveller’s cheques; a car rental agency; drugstores; clothing manufacturers (for example, Body Glove); destinations (for example, Disney World; Universal Studios.)

Reminder phase (September to February)

- Weekly travel section in daily newspapers

- Mall posters, including in-mall demonstration of Body Guard

- Outdoor en route to Florida (in u.s.) in select key locations facing southbound traffic on first 100 kilometres of major north-south freeways.

- Outdoor at southbound border crossings

- Event marketing: sponsorship of local sporting events, such as the Ontario Senior Tennis Tournament, to reach active frequent travellers to the southern u.s.; and airport advertising/demonstrations

- Investigate feasibility of advertising in u.s. media directed to Canadians (for example, Canada Pulse News.)

Robert Troutbeck is executive vice-president, national media director at Doner Schur Peppler, a Toronto-based advertising agency.