On Thursday, reverse mortgage industry leader American Advisors Group (AAG) announced the launch of an expansive new marketing campaign featuring interviews and testimonials from borrowers, aimed at sharing the stories of how people can be affected by a reverse mortgage in all aspects of their lives. . Some of the new documents include actual AAG borrowers interviewed by company spokesperson Tom Selleck.
The campaign, “Better Lives,” has been in development for over six months and will feature a large-scale strategy to connect with potential customers through online video, website, social media and dedicated TV advertising. To get a more complete perspective on ‘Better Lives’, how it was developed and ultimately executed as well as how its announcement relates to recent news, RMD spoke with the VP of Branding and Creative Services. AAG, Eddie Herda, to discuss the new campaign.
” A better life “
New “Better livesThe campaign is described as a multi-channel advertising marketing campaign that aims to provide a more humanistic look at the reverse mortgage product and the AAG brand, according to Herda.
“[It provides a humanistic look] by bringing real customer stories to the fore, ”said Herda. “It will be in print, as well as TV commercials, and paid and organic social media. It just builds on the stories of real borrowers. “
Inspired by letters the company and some of its initiators received from borrowers describing how the product made a positive difference in their financial or housing situation, individual borrowers were contacted and asked if they would be ready. to share their stories in the new campaign. To the surprise of these borrowers, some of them were asked about their home and its importance in their lives by Tom Selleck.
Additionally, the approach to the print component of the campaign will be lengthy, where additional details about borrowers’ stories can be shared, Herda explained.
“In the print version, we’ll take the actual stories and deliver them as a long, story-driven copy,” he said. “[We’re doing that] rather than [strictly] discuss the benefits of the product. We’re actually going to write the stories about how [a reverse mortgage] impacted someone’s life. And then of course, advertising.
Advertising for industry
For many people operating in the modern reverse mortgage industry, AAG’s generally ubiquitous advertising has been something the initiators have taken advantage of, at least to educate customers about the product. This is true for those who work both inside and outside of AAG, as previously explored by RMD. By developing a new campaign that takes a more hybrid approach using testimonials and the longtime company spokesperson, Herda describes this next step as necessary for both AAG and the mortgage industry as a whole. reversed.
“I would say this is a new approach and we believe there is a need to adopt not just for AAG, but for the industry as a whole,” he said. “To really start discussing the importance of using home equity in retirement, not just from a business or an Excel spreadsheet perspective, but really from people whose lives have been changed because they were able to take advantage of this financial strategy. “
Testimonial campaigns are certainly not new to the reverse mortgage industry, but taking an approach that aims to have an emotional impact on viewers has generally taken a proverbial “back bank” in terms of the campaigns seen both among consumers. competitors of AAG as well as in broader financial services. space, Herda said. Instead, this campaign is more directly inspired by certain emotional approaches taken by tech companies.
“I think it’s easy for us to go for what I’ll call the ‘speeds and feeds’ which are the advantages,” he said. “Improvements in a person’s livelihood and lifestyle are sometimes overshadowed by speeds and feeds. It’s unlike anything we haven’t seen from other brands, tech brands, for example. “
Citing an example, Herda described an advertising landscape in which some tech brands focused on specific attributes of a new product’s technical capabilities through higher storage capacities or faster performance. A more emotional approach was taken by the late Apple CEO Steve Jobs in 2001 when he held up the original iPod music player and told an audience, “This amazing little device has 1,000 songs in it, and it goes right into my pocket.”
Taking a similar approach to emotional marketing in financial services could be vital for connecting with new people, Herda says.
“I think it’s important for us and for the financial industry as a whole to focus on the individual,” he said. “Because at the end of the day, it’s their lives that are affected. “
The key to that emotional connection will be the variety of people featured in the campaign, Herda said. AAG sought out borrowers from diverse backgrounds and perspectives to help provide the campaign with a holistic view of how using a reverse mortgage could impact all kinds of people in different communities and diverse. means, describing a series of profiled borrowers in the campaign.
“We wanted to choose a variety of people who could tell different stories,” Herda said. “[A profiled borrower named] Jack was the loan manager; he’s a finance pro. And then another borrower, Dinah, is a retired kindergarten teacher. Linda is a commercial actress. It features people who have diverse backgrounds in terms of the overall lifestyle, the careers they’ve had and, obviously, how that income has been spent. “
A semester in preparation
Addressing the proverbial ‘elephant in the room’ immediately, RMD asked if the rollout of a new ad campaign had been influenced by the announcement of a recent agreement between AAG and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) regarding the “” estimated values of the house. Herda explained that the timelines for news of the settlement itself and the production schedule for this campaign just don’t match.
“To give you a context, the commercial shoot took place in June,” Herda said. “And then after June, we went out and collected additional video testimonials at the homes of other borrowers. […] So obviously, sound editing and mixing and color corrections, [as well as] creating a landing page, getting the survey results, it all took the time it took.
Typically, an AAG campaign can have an average turnaround time of around two months, Herda said. He explained that the work on this initiative was much more involved than some of the other campaigns previously carried out by the company, requiring additional time for the production and post-production phases to accommodate a multimedia approach.
“This one had so many more moving parts,” Herda said. “And so, I think we all wanted to roll it out as a holistic and integrated campaign.”