financial services

The Hartford Celebrates 200th With Campaign

The Hartford's 2009 advertising

The Hartford Financial Services Group is launching a new marketing campaign designed to build "broad visibility and momentum for the company in the marketplace," according to marketing executives.

The "aggressive" and "optimistic" campaign includes TV, a refreshed brand and a commemorative logo for the company's 200th anniversary. The TV spots encourage consumers and small businesses to pursue life's opportunities with confidence, trusting that The Hartford is behind them every step of the way.

The campaign will illustrate the Hartford, Conn.-based company's "energized commitment to winning in the marketplace," said Connie Weaver, senior vice president of marketing and communications at The Hartford, in a statement.

The campaign's TV component, "Pursuits," includes two 30-second spots -- one showcasing individuals, the other small business owners -- in pursuit of their personal or financial goals. The vignette-style commercials feature situations where the main characters make critical decisions in their lives with The Hartford supporting them.



In the spots, The Hartford's logo is brought to life through animation. The logo then dissolves into animated "particle" elements that take flight. The particles weave through each individual scene, conveying The Hartford's continuous presence throughout every phase of a customer's life or business. At the end of each commercial, the animation re-forms back into The Hartford logo. They include the tagline: "With The Hartford behind you, achieve what's ahead of you."

TV will air on national network programs, including "60 Minutes," "48 Hours," The Kennedy Center Honors, NCAA college football and the NCAA March Madness Basketball Tournament, as well as on cable stations, including CNN, CNN Headline News, CNBC, ESPN, Discovery Channel, The History Channel, and A&E. The spots will continue to run through 2010.

The campaign is part of a broader brand-refreshing effort that began earlier this year in preparation for the company's 200th anniversary, which is May 10. It also includes updated print advertising, logo, Web site, collateral and other marketing materials. The Hartford's agency of record, St. Louis-based Rodgers Townsend, led the creative development effort for the campaign.

Print includes advertorials in key news, business and personal finance publications that highlight the importance of a secure financial future. Ads in key trade publications depict the company's history of delivering on its promises to its customers and giving back to the communities where its employees live and work.

The first trade ad commemorates a key scene from the company's history related to the 1835 fire in New York City's financial district, which destroyed the area. It was also the year The Hartford was put to its first major test as a fire insurance company. The then-president of Hartford, Eliphalet Terry, made a 125-mile sleigh ride in sub-zero temperatures from Hartford to New York City to pay claims on the spot, in a time when many other insurance companies folded and reneged on their promises to customers.

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