Initiative Media

Advertising on rental videosIn an effort to capture the interest of current, lapsed and potential policyholders, Sentimental Insurance set out to launch a revolutionary new personal safety program, Body Guard, as part of its 'Sentimental Journeys' travel package.What follows is a...

Advertising on rental videos

In an effort to capture the interest of current, lapsed and potential policyholders, Sentimental Insurance set out to launch a revolutionary new personal safety program, Body Guard, as part of its ‘Sentimental Journeys’ travel package.

What follows is a true account of how Sentimental succeeded in delivering Body Guard communications and trial incentives via a direct response program; targetted tactical print, radio and television; video rental advertising; retail cross-promotion and trade shows.

Element Role

Primary Secondary

Direct Response Program Retention Acquisition

Targeted tactical print,

radio and TV Acquisition Retention

Video Rental Advertising Acquisition Retention

Retail Cross-Promotion Acquisition

Trade Shows Acquisition

The target group

Meet the Wilsons – Roy, Kay and their two children, Bart and Lisa.

Long-time residents of Ottawa, Roy (age 41) works for a computer software manufacturer, while Kay (age 38) is employed with a major law firm.

When the children were born, the couple invested in a life insurance policy with Sentimental, which they have maintained for 10 years.

They have contemplated switching the policy over to another insurance company that offers more services.

Roy’s parents live in Belleville, Ont. and also hold a life insurance policy with Sentimental.

Now in their 70s, the idea of switching to another insurance company has never even crossed their minds.

At their age, they feel Sentimental offers everything they need.

Research indicates:

- those in the 35-49 age group represent 85% of policy defections

- people in the 49+ age segment are 75% less likely to use the Body Guard service.

Communication execution

There will be five distinct elements which will work together to reinforce and motivate both target groups.

Direct response (August)

Both Wilson households get complete Body Guard information kits in the mail, each customized to the policyholders’ age groups.

Within the package are details of a referral incentive program offering the chance to win a trip to Disneyworld if they can sign up a friend.

Video rental advertising (August to March)

With the onset of the recession, the Wilsons became Friday night shut-ins, renting movies from their local video store.

Prominently featured on video case/sleeves of rental movies such as: The Accidental Tourist, Unlawful Entry, Cape Fear, Home Alone 2, and Someone To Watch Over Me, is the Body Guard toll-free number.

A two-minute ‘infomercial’ precedes the movie, detailing the Body Guard program.

Seventy-five per cent of households in Ontario contain vcrs.

Retail cross-promotion (January to March)

The ‘Body Guard Vacation’ display at the Wilsons’ local drugstore features travel-size products for southern vacationers (suntan lotion, film, luggage tags, and so on.)

All items carry stickers with the Body Guard toll-free number: 1-800-SAFGARD.

Kay also enters the Disneyworld vacation contest, which is part of the display.

Roy’s parents enter the contest hoping to win a trip for their grandchildren, by convincing their neighbors, the Simpsons, to sign up.

The key feature for the Simpsons, who are Snowbirds, is the value-added Body Guard service as they prepare for their annual road trip to Arizona.

Print, radio and tv (August to July)

In December, Roy reads a follow-up story about a Canadian tourist who was robbed at gunpoint in Miami.

He notices an ad by Sentimental, encouraging travellers planning a trip to Florida to sign up for the Body Guard program.

He hears a similar spot on the radio after the newscast that featured the same story.

These tactically tuned messages heighten the subtle Sentimental message featured daily on a syndicated radio travel program.

Print and radio campaigns capitalize on, and are intentionally tied in to, news stories dealing with vacationing victims of violence, specifically those in the southern u.s.

Immediately after the release of these stories, an ad blitz would occur, targetting future travellers.

Likewise, as Kay watches her favorite travel show on cable, a Body Guard travel safety message, along with the toll-free number, crawls across the bottom of the screen.

A media habits analysis indicates significant exposure to newspaper, tv and radio.

Trade shows (January)

An avid golfer, Roy visits the Golf and Travel Show at which Sentimental has a Body Guard booth.

Free travel kits containing information on the Disneyworld incentive program are on hand, along with an interactive display demonstrating how the system works.

Twenty-six per cent of the primary target group plays golf.


By the time the Wilsons are ready to take their winter vacation to Orlando, Fla. in March, they have been bombarded with Body Guard communications and decide to sign up for the program.

They have chosen to stay with Sentimental Insurance, feeling that the Body Guard program is an invaluable addition to their life insurance package.

Initiative Media is a division of Toronto-based advertising agency MacLaren:Lintas.