financial services

Nation Of Nationwide Seeks Citizens

Welcome-William-B

Nationwide Insurance: of the people, by the people, for the people. That's not the tag line for the company's largest-ever ad campaign breaking next week, but it probably could be. With the new "Join the Nation" push, the insurance giant is moving away from what CMO Matthew Jauchius calls "a yuk and a phone number" approach embodied by the three-year-old "World's Greatest Spokesperson" to a more straightforward, "sincere and authentic" approach invoking the "Nationwide is on your side" years and jingle that helped establish the brand. 

"This is an opportunity to talk about what "On your side" means, said Jauchius during a Tuesday webcast presentation on the new integrated umbrella campaign. Central to the campaign is the message that Nationwide, as a mutual, doesn't answer to shareholders, is authentic, genuine, thoughtful, and a caring thought leader. "It's not for people shopping on price alone," said Jauchius. "We are taking a more sincere, authentic tone to align marketing with who we are as a company.” 

Jennifer Hanley, SVP of brand marketing, said the kind of pre-millennium advertising Nationwide did was all about being responsible, with "Life comes at you fast" as the theme line. "The problem was Nationwide didn't get credit for that. It didn't do enough to get us the attention we needed." 

She says the new campaign, via Durham N.C.-based Mckinney, attempts to differentiate Nationwide as a shareholder-free zone with a member-focused, attentive and personalized-service philosophy designed for consumers who want more from insurance company than a price. 

The campaign comprises TV, radio, print and digital, a new online hub, social media, and agent activation. The heavy television component, voiced by Julia Roberts, will run on cable  and network, with the anthem spot breaking July 27 during NBC's broadcast of the London Olympics. Also new for the effort is a visual that aligns with the nation idea: a Nationwide flag bearing the heritage logo of an "N" with the flying raptor in the middle. 

The 60-second launch ad, "Nation of Members," will be followed by product spots. One, touting Nationwide's disappearing deductible, is a humorous take on how it would be nice to make annoyances -- a potbelly, one's daughter's undesirable boyfriend, traffic -- disappear.   

Said Jauchius: "We are not removing humor completely, but we are going from irreverent humor to what everyday people can relate to."

There will also be a NASCAR-media component with ads featuring racers Dale Earnhardt, Jr. and Danica Patrick. The new Web hub, JoinTheNation.com, is a social media-driven platform where members give video testimonials, people can get tips from "The Nation" from members, and connect. "The hub will provide ongoing protection-oriented content that encourages participation from members," said Hanley.  

"It is our largest campaign both in cost and scope. It is a serious effort on our part to change the conversation in the category," said Jauchius. Hanley added that the "invertising" -- the intramural campaign for agents and employees -- has been running for a couple of months already. "We took a look at our brand position and brand character. We wanted to bring to life attributes like authentic, vigilant, and maternal in the tone and manner of campaign.”

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