There are 150 million Americans between the ages of 40 and 75, but only 7.4 million Americans of all ages are covered by long-term care insurance.
This presents an opportunity for long-term care insurance provider Genworth, yet it is proving to be incredibly challenging to capture consumers' attention about their finances.
Hence, Genworth worked with media planning agency Spark to come up with an innovative solution that raises the level of public conversation about the importance of planning for long-term care support and services and amplifies its message with more consumers.
"We wanted to come up with something that would encourage people to have 'the talk' with their loved ones about the importance of planning for their futures," says Eric Levin, SVP, group client director, Spark.
Now, Spark and its sibling branded content and entertainment division LiquidThread and Genworth are launching an integrated partnership with CNN that makes Genworth the first advertiser to use CNN’s Content Development Studio, a unit under the network that works with advertisers and agencies to develop branded entertainment and sponsored programming.
Under the deal, Spark worked with the CNN production team to develop new informational brand creative -- both :15 and :60 second versions -- to convey the importance of planning for the future. "CNN was immensely collaborative and it is useful to use their voice to lend credibility to the conversation," says Levin.
At the same time, CNN is publishing a series of articles to educate Genworth's target Boomer audience about the importance of long-term care planning and best practices to prepare for their future. These articles will run on CNN's online channels as sponsored and organic content.
In addition, CNN is currently running a series on the importance of long-term care planning with expert Christine Romans. These 1- to-2-minute episodes focus on detailing the importance behind planning for the future and the best way to do it. Romans was selected since her expertise aligned perfectly with the project's goals. "She was the perfect voice since this was something she already was talking about," says Levin.
CNN's Romans will also be active on social media. She helmed the CNN Money Personal Finance handle on Twitter on Friday,
September 19 to lead a conversation about long-term care planning. Although Romans' content is a piece of the larger partnership, she is given complete editorial freedom.
And another popular CNN personality, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, is also featured in native ads that support the Genworth sponsored CNN Digital Series "Live to 100." This series will also be promoted on CNN proper and CNN Money.
Importantly, Genworth also maintained the rights to all of the creative in order to push the content on its own channels.
The Genworth partnership represents the future of advertising, says Levin. "It walks the line between traditional and non-traditional advertising in an incredibly cost-effective manner, as we now see partners leveraging everything they have coming together with clients who truly understand there is a new model and a new way to do things."
This partnership is one of the first efforts from the LiquidThread operation that launched in February at Chicago-based Spark. LiquidThread, part of SMG, has operations worldwide.
Genworth Financial spent $570,000 on advertising between January and June 2014, down from $834,000 the company spent during the first six months in 2013, according to Kantar Media. Annually, Genworth spent $3.106 million on advertising in 2013 and $5.499 million in 2012.