With the plethora of reality-based TV shows, it’s no wonder that a campaign that used real-life situations would intrigue readers.
A story about John Hancock’s #LifeComesNext campaign garnered the most reads this year in the financial services category.
The premise: Being forced into early retirement or discovering that someone close has died are scenarios that don’t make for entertaining TV spots. But John Hancock did not shirk from such unvarnished topics in its campaign.
In other top financial services news, Visa intrigued readers with its multifaceted sponsorship of the Olympics. The story focused on a study by YouGov BrandIndex that showed Visa received one of the biggest consumer perception boosts as a result of its affiliation with the games.
Visa, an Olympics mainstay, became the first sponsor to use paid search to drive visitors to its Tumblr account.
Another financial services company to garner interest in Marketing Daily was Coinstar, which expanded its services to offering gift card exchange. The story explored how Coinstar, which eliminated the need for coin collectors to have to roll their coins in paper wrappers in order to exchange them, was promoting its latest offering: A kiosk that turns gift cards into cash.
Several pet-related efforts also made it into this writer’s top 10 most-read stories.
One was a story about Purina’s enlistment of the always-ornery Grumpy Cat to help promote its relationship with South by Southwest Interactive Festival. Grumpy Cat set sail aboard the S.S. Holy Shrimp Boat to deliver Friskies Seafood Sensations with the new shrimp flavor to her fellow Austin, Texas felines at animal shelters.
Another highly read story was about how the continued growth of ecommerce is creating a host of new challenges for pet supply retailers, according to a Millward Brown Digital study.
The relatively low cost of entry into ecommerce versus traditional brick-and-mortar retail businesses resulted in dozens of new entrants across consumer packaged goods categories in 2014.
Only one travel story captured readers’ fancies. It was about a new Southwest Airlines campaign that used the iconic song “All You Need Is Love.” It’s a surprise the song hadn’t been used before by the “LUV airline.” The campaign, from GSD&M, features the song performed by indie pop band Echosmith. The creative positions the airline and the Love Field airport as the best choice for customers flying from Dallas anywhere in the country.
Several research-driven stories also got many clicks.
One was about the elusive Millenials, which according to Experian Marketing Services spend 14.5 hours each week texting, talking and accessing social media on their smartphone, more than any other generation.
These adults, ages 18-34, are also the most diverse, informed and digitally connected generation, with 77% owning a smartphone. Millennials spend so much time on their smartphones that they account for 41%of the total time that Americans spend using smartphones, despite making up just 29% of the population.
Another story focused on Hispanic consumers, who are outpacing non-Hispanics in their adoption of mobile, social and online sources for local shopping, according to BIA/Kelsey's Consumer Commerce Monitor study.
Nearly a quarter (23.6%) of Hispanic consumers reported that they use tablets for local shopping, compared with 15.5% of non-Hispanics.
Finally, rounding out the top 10, was a story about fitness company Curves, which enlisted celebrity trainer Jillian Michaels and another about home retailer Ikea launching a campaign that aimed to capitalize on the popularity of home design reality shows that seem to be multiplying on HGTV and other channels.
In more reality-based advertising, the Ikea Home Tour Squad helped homeowners across the country tackle common home furnishing and design challenges.