MassMutual Shifts Dollars Online With New 'Front of Mind' Ads

Add MassMutual Financial Group to the growing cacophony of insurance companies trying to spur inert Baby Boomers into taking action on financial planning for retirement.

Individuals, business owners and brokers are the targets of a $20-million online, print and broadcast ad campaign tagged "Front of the Mind" that breaks this week. The positioning is intended to move financial planning to the forefront of the consumer mindset--and more so, have that consumer contact a MassMutual advisor. MassMutual estimates the market to be some 30 million strong.

"This is intended to be a broad campaign," says MassMutual senior vice president Trish Robinson, "and, to the extent that we concentrate our media, it is to reach the affluent in the marketplace." Media spending will be concentrated in spring and fall to coincide with tax season and year-end financial planning--the two times of year when consumers are most likely to be thinking about money management, says Robinson.



MassMutual intends to spend an estimated $15 million on broadcast ads; $6 million for print and $1.5 million for online ads. This is the first time that MassMutual has advertised online.

MassMutual's previous positioning, "You can't predict. You can prepare," laid some of the groundwork for the current crop of ads which "ratchet up" that message, Robinson says. The new positioning was informed by consumer research conducted by Landor Associates and interpreted in ads by Mullen, the Interpublic-owned agency that was tapped by the Springfield, Mass.-based insurer in June to evolve its marketing message.

Consumers will find no scare tactics or images of luxurious retirement destinations in new ads breaking this week. Instead, they will experience in four playful, intentionally empathetic, 30-second TV spots what it's like to be inside the mind of an average consumer as thoughts compete to be top of mind. Each spot closes with the new tagline, "We'll help you get there." TV spots are scheduled to run during high-profile network and cable sports events, and prime time and early morning dayparts, as well as online.

"These ads do not try to scare people into action or entice them with visions of yachts, vineyards and vintage sports cars. Most consumers actually resent scare tactics, and they simply don't believe the fantasies," says Mullen creative chief Edward Boches. "This campaign is based on the simple fact that people generally know they need to financially prepare for their future, and MassMutual can help them realize the difference between thinking about it and doing something about it."

The campaign's six consumer print ads will run in magazines and newspapers, including The Wall Street Journal, Fortune, Money, Newsweek, Cookie, Martha Stewart Living, Working Mother and National Geographic--built on the same theme as the television ads by featuring illustrations of people representing retirement and life insurance priorities overcoming barriers to move to front of mind. Online ads will run on each of the publication's Web sites plus on portals such as Yahoo. Print ads encourage consumers to visit microsites such as for information tailored to their particular needs or goals.

Next story loading loading..