financial services

Prudential Financial Launches 'SOS' Ads

Prudential ad

Prudential Financial, Inc. is launching an ad campaign highlighting the company's solutions for businesses facing a variety of challenges in the post-financial crisis environment.

The multimillion-dollar effort centers on Prudential answering an "SOS" call from corporations looking for a partner with the financial strength and solutions for their retirement plans, asset management and group life insurance needs.

National TV spots break Oct. 25. One of the ads depicts skyscrapers sending out the Morse code signal for "SOS" with flashing window lights. It will run on network morning news programs: NBC's "Meet the Press," ABC's "This Week," CBS's "Face the Nation" and "Fox News Sunday." "We will continue this schedule at least through March," says Tom Burke, vice president of advertising at the Newark, N.J.-based-Prudential.



The spots will also be seen on various sports programming, including NFL regular- and post-season games on NBC, CBS and ESPN, college football and basketball on ABC and CBS, PGA and LPGA Tour events, NBC figure skating and local sponsorships with the New Jersey Devils, Rutgers football and basketball and Seton Hall basketball.

The media buy also includes cable networks such as Bloomberg, Fox Business News, CNBC, CNN, Headline News, The History Channel and HGTV.

"There is no planned ending date for the campaign at this time," Burke tells Marketing Daily. "We plan to have a significant media presence through 2010."

Print launched Oct. 18 with a full-page ad in The New York Times . The print ads use a graphic representation of SOS in Morse code in front of business leaders looking for help. "Who can help rescue our 401(k) plans?" "Who can steer us through uncertain markets?" and "Who can save us from the risks of disability?" the ads ask. The response: "Who? Pru."

Print ads will continue running in national newspapers including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Barron's, Financial Times and Investor's Business Daily regularly through the third week of December. These placements will continue in January, Burke says.

The campaign will be running in convergent (trade + consumer readership) magazines such as Fortune, Forbes, i>BusinessWeek and The Economist, and will have a heavy presence in key trade publications, including Pensions & Investments, CFO, Institutional Investor, PlanSponsor/PlanAdviser, HR Executive and Bloomberg Markets.

"The objective of the campaign is to build awareness and consideration for Prudential's three core institutional lines of business: Retirement, group insurance and investment management," Burke says.

The campaign, which was created in-house, also will include online advertising, airport dioramas, elevator advertisements and Prudential's electronic billboard at Times Square. The ads build on the company's "Who? Pru" advertising campaign, which broke in January, Burke says.

Digital display advertising will be seen on Linked-in,,,, Pensions & Investments (,, and the WSJ Digital Network.

Prudential Financial has operations in the U.S., Asia, Europe, and Latin America. Prudential's businesses offer a variety of products and services, including life insurance, annuities, retirement-related services, mutual funds, investment management and real estate services.

4 comments about "Prudential Financial Launches 'SOS' Ads ".
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  1. John McBride, November 6, 2009 at 12:23 p.m.

    Oh man, did somebody screw this one up. The audio isn't sending 'SOS'. It's sending 'SMS'. Doh!

  2. W Sher from wsher, January 19, 2010 at 9:36 a.m.

    In the Boston market, i thought the timing was a poor choice because of the heavy usage in Haiti of "SOS"
    (a.k.a. SMS)

    Also Who should be "Whom" to be correct

  3. Paula Lynn from Who Else Unlimited, January 19, 2010 at 7:17 p.m.

    Who is the subjective case. Whom is the objective case which takes on the objective for, by, to (or such implied). In this case, the Who is suubjective. 8th grade English grammar.

  4. Neal Hudson from self, February 19, 2010 at 10:53 p.m.

    S O S is NOT the Distress signal. The Distress signal is the letters SOS run together to form a new character. The ad is sending the letters S space O space S which means nothing. They should be sending ...--... not ... --- ...
    Other wise the code is good quality.

    John McBNride, listen again, the O is there ....

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