Los Angeles-based AIG Retirement Services launched a new online phase of its first national brand advertising campaign on Oct. 1.

AIG, best known for insurance, partnered with Bankrate of North Palm Beach, Fla., to take the lead advertising position in the launch of that website's new retirement channel to promote its AIG Retirement Services arm, comprised of the firm's broker/dealer, mutual fund and annuity businesses.

Other targeted online ad buys include the websites of Yahoo Finance, AOL Finance and Realage.com, according to an executive with PHD Media who worked on the campaign. PHD is a division of Omnicom Group of New York.

With a tagline of "Live Longer, Retire Stronger," the goal of AIG's ad campaign is to get the attention of the 77 million Baby Boomers as they move closer to retirement. AIG first highlights various lifestyle choices that add years to a person's life. Laughter, for instance, can add eight years. Marriage, 15. "Living longer also means living longer in retirement," AIG then advises.

Interactive users are encouraged to visit AIG's "Retire Stronger" online micro site. On it, they can conduct interactive exercises and click on "mutual fund," "annuity" or "retirement planning" buttons for more information. They also can call contact phone numbers.

Exercises include an interactive calculator that reveals how much the user needs to retire, based on longer anticipated life expectancies. It provides the ability to print out a "Live Longer, Retire Stronger Playbook," and offers an interactive multiple-choice quiz testing Baby Boomers' knowledge of retirement needs, based on key results of an AIG study released in June.

The online Harris Interactive survey was conducted among 1,022 adults age 45 and over. Of those, 510 were over the age of 60. All had investable assets between $100,000 and $2 million, excluding 401(k) assets.

Guaranteed income for life is a top retirement goal for 97% of Boomers, the survey found.

"Ask your financial adviser about AIG today," concludes the online "Live Longer, Retire Stronger Playbook," which highlights the risks of insufficient retirement planning, including longevity, inflation, healthcare, potential investment losses and an overly aggressive withdrawal strategy.

Various Omnicom affiliates are handling the campaign. A separate interactive media team at PHD Media placed the online ads. The Designory designed the service-marked "Retire Stronger" online micro site, and BBDO handled other media, including print ads in leading business and lifestyle magazines.

While tracking the results of an online campaign often involves monitoring transaction volume, AIG lacks a transactional website. Thus, the service-marked micro site was created, another PHD Media source reported. That website can be found at retirestronger.com.

"We're doing a huge integration piece with Fox News and [Your World with] Neil Cavuto,'" the PHD Media supervisor said. "It'll be online and on TV." Weekly sponsorship of that FOX show is planned, and the campaign is slated to run at least through the end of this year.

The AIG ad campaign, spanning broadcast, print and online media, originally kicked off on Sept. 7 during CBS' women's semifinals of the U.S. Open tennis tournament. There were three TV spots. It is also being showcased on early season NFL and college football games, as well as top business and financial news programming on CNBC, CNN and FOX.

50 Million Impressions

"Altogether, we expect to generate more than 50 million impressions [ad views] among our target audience of American consumers age 45 and over by year end," said Jay S. Wintrob, president and CEO of AIG Retirement Services.

The Internet buys don't necessarily integrate with the print buys. While many middle-aged people turn to the web for news, one of the PHD Media sources explained, "a lot of the older part of the target isn't necessarily turning to the web, and haven't caught onto that technology."

Also, not all websites of major print media generate an attractive response for the dollar.

Thus, websites and print media are researched separately. Choices depend on cost or how efficient the website is.

Magazine buys, for example, have included Real Simple, Travel & Leisure, Smart Money and women's books.

The media campaign was launched three days after the announcement of a series of management changes in AIG's broker/dealer arm, AIG Advisor Group. Larry Roth, president and chief executive of Royal Alliance Associates, succeeded Peter A. Harbeck as CEO of AIG Advisor Group. Meanwhile, Arthur Tambaro, Royal Alliance vice chairman, succeeded Roth as president of Royal Alliance.

AIG Advisor Group indicated it is looking to enhance customer service, better integrate its businesses and better allocate executive management.

AIG's quarterly report, released Aug. 8, cited an "initiative to leverage AIG's scale and scope to generate new business. For instance, AIG's private client group and AIG Advisor Group recently formed a strategic alliance to enhance AIG's ability to serve the high-net-worth market by offering creative insurance solutions in addition to the broad range of investment options currently available."

The report noted that prior to the campaign, AIG had "made a first appearance on BusinessWeek's annual Top 100 brands survey. AIG ranked 47th on the list of the most valuable global brands, ahead of all insurance competitors, with a brand value estimated at $7.49 billion."

AIG Retirement Services includes AIG Advisor Group, AIG's large independent broker/dealer network, which itself encompasses Advantage Capital, AIG Financial Advisors, American General Securities, FSC Securities and Royal Alliance Associates. It also includes fixed annuity issuer AIG Annuity, variable annuity provider AIG SunAmerica Retirement Markets and AIG SunAmerica Asset Management.

(c) 2007 Money Management Executive and SourceMedia, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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