MetLife has used the Super Bowl in the US to launch an advertising campaign aiming to persuade consumers that obtaining insurance does not have to be complicated.
The advertisement opens with Charlie Brown strolling alongside Lucy, Linus and other Peanuts characters into a grassy field, when suddenly a small army of other Saturday morning cartoon characters from the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s meet them.
As the characters come from all points across the universe to gather in an open field, a voiceover says: “No matter who you are, no matter where you are from, every family, everywhere, should have the financial security they need. Not just the ones who can figure it out. Not just the most fortunate. Everyone.”
At the core of the campaign from the insurer is the message that people need insurance,but the process of securing is difficult – or was until now.
Richard Hong, vice-president, for global brand, marketing and communication at MetLife says: “Most people know life insurance is essential, but they think the process for getting it is too hard.
“That’s why our new advertising campaign is designed to inspire and empower consumers to achieve the financial security they need. We want everyone to say ‘I Can Do This’ – and make real progress towards financial security with MetLife.”
In the three hours after the advertisement, traffic doubled to MetLife’s mobile-phone applications, the company said. Traffic to the company’s website also increased by 34%.
The campaign continued with another 30-second advertisement, “Piano,” again featuring Linus, Snoopy and other cartoon characters, which aired in February during the Grammy Awards.
An additional three TV spots have been running since late February, each touching on the different themes supporting MetLife’s term life insurance products.
Print and digital elements will also support the launch, with everything tying back to the social networks.
Social networking played a huge role in the campaign in the weeks leading up to the Super Bowl, as a variety of cartoon characters took to MetLife’s Facebook page and to Twitter to preview the coming attraction.
The characters spoke online in their own “voices” – even Scooby Doo hammed it up, posting: “Rook out for me and Shaggy on TV Feb. 5th!”
The insurer later added “outtakes” of the commercial, featuring cartoon characters hamming it up online in another series of short features.
“We’re pleased with the results of the campaign so far. We have gotten over 53,000 new Facebook fans and over 600,000 YouTube views of our commercials and videos,” Hong said.
He added: “In February, we saw an increase in our brand metrics with top of mind awareness and preference for our brand both up by 12%. We’re also seeing a progressive increase in the number of calls to our toll-free number.”
The campaign’s approach of leading the messaging on Facebook was designed to get people talking about the advertisement days before they actually ran, and reflects a strategy adopted by MetLife to use digital engagement as a catalyst for its marketing efforts across the firm.
The cartoon personalities continue to pop up unexpectedly on the insurer’s Facebook page, furthering the conversation and spreading the word virally.
In tandem with the new campaign, MetLife has developed a term life policy purchase process, accessible via the company’s web site that can provide a quote, a fully underwritten offer, and fulfillment, all online in a matter of minutes.
Hong said: “We’ve truly simplified and demystified the process for buying life insurance.”
In an amazingly serendipitous ending, New York-based MetLife surely cheered like mad as the hometown New York Giants ended up as Super Bowl champions in a storybook ending.
Just last year, the company won naming rights to MetLife Stadium, the newly built facility in East Rutherford, New Jersey, which is home to both the New York Giants and Jets.
The MetLife Stadium agreement makes MetLife the official insurance company of the Jets, Giants and the stadium complex, and includes high-profile interior and exterior branding on the venue.
Specific elements of the agreement include: naming rights to the stadium, 120,000 sq ft of branded space at the stadium’s main west entrance, four illuminated signs on the exterior of the building, four inner-bowl signs, and TV, radio, print and online media opportunities.
Commenting at the time on the agreement, Beth Hirschhorn, chief marketing officer of MetLife, said:
“MetLife Stadium now joins the portfolio of powerful and iconic marketing assets the company has cultivated over the years, including the MetLife blimps and the company’s association with the Peanuts characters.”
Next up in the MetLife campaign is a trio of commercials that take a more tactical approach, featuring the new online engine that allows the insurer to underwrite life policies in a single-session purchase on the insurer’s website.