NEW YORK - The Advertising Research Foundation awarded both its top-place Grand Ogilvy Award and the Gold Award for Financial Services to Ameriprise Financial at an awards ceremony here last Tuesday for its multimedia national "Dreams Don't Retire" campaign.

The campaign, created under the auspices of Saatchi & Saatchi, touts the importance of planning for retirement and is meant to further cement the cause and Ameriprise's solutions in the national consciousness.

"Dreams Don't Retire' is a play on the overall retirement market," said Ameriprise Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Kim Sharan. "You need a plan in order to make your plan come through."

The campaign, which Sharan characterized as 360-degree, or full content, features national television advertisements, online media, print and direct mail.

"Our campaign was deeply based on consumer research," the CMO said. "We focused on understanding the key insights of our target audience: Baby Boomers. All our research has found that retirement is their greatest need in terms of planning."


The TV spots feature 60s icon and "Easy Rider" star and co-creator Dennis Hopper, enthusiastically saying things like "It's not just about where your dreams will take you; it's where you take your dreams."

"The distribution phase is going to be very important to Baby Boomers," Sharan said. "They have fears like, Am I going to outlive my money?'" Ameriprise-which sells a full suite of financial products including mutual funds, brokerage accounts, life and personal insurance and financial advisers-"offers an overall platform of financial planning that allows consumers to dream, plan and track," Sharan said. "This campaign really tried to show the consumer that they can be able to live the dreams they think about."

When American Express spun off Ameriprise in 2005, industry insiders told MME they thought it was largely a mistake to cast off the deeply ingrained brand name of American Express Funds. However, Sharan noted, since Ameriprise's inception, Ameriprise's brand awareness has gone from zero to 59%.

The Noted Source'

"In just two years, we've established a powerful and respected brand that has transformed financial services advertising and the way people look at financial planning," she said. "Today, more people come to Ameriprise for financial planning than any other company."

The Ogilvy Awards, held April 1 at the Marriot Marquis Hotel in Manhattan's Times Square and named after advertising legend David Ogilvy, were created in 1993 and are considered among the most prestigious awards in the entire category of advertising and marketing.

"This year's Ogilvy winners will make research people feel very proud," said Bob Barocci, president and CEO of The Advertising Research Foundation. "The case histories are outstanding successes which would not have been possible without the insightful and creative research contributions the award celebrates."

Other Ogilvy awards this year included the Business Achievement Award for New Product Launch, which went to Journey Diamond Jewelry for its "With Every Step Love Grows" campaign; and the Business Achievement Award for Brand Repositioning, which went to Wal-Mart for its "Save money. Live better" campaign.

Sharan said Ameriprise is "absolutely thrilled" to receive the Ogilvy Grand Prize and Gold Award. "It acknowledges our great partnership with Saatchi & Saatchi," she said. "This campaign has been recognized for creativity, consumer insight and research."

In addition to the Ogilvy, the "Dreams Don't Retire" campaign has won numerous other awards, including numerous awards from the Financial Communication Society, the International Midas Awards in 2006, the Journal of Financial Advertising's Marketing Media Strategy Award in 2006 and then again in 2007. In addition, Ameriprise was a finalist in the EFFIE Awards and the ECHO Awards.

While Sharan declined to say how much the "Dreams" campaign cost Ameriprise, she offered that it was "not what you would call inexpensive."

Ameriprise is currently working on a new advertising campaign with the theme, "You have dreams. You need a plan." The new campaign is also "pretty robust," the EVP/CMO said, and will incorporate the use of all forms of media to drive engagement, as well as local outreach seminars in cities around the country to help retirees develop a financial plan.

Ameriprise is also working on "LifeDreams," an integrated, multi-platform campaign developed in conjunction with National Geographic that features stories of people pursuing their dreams.

"The stories shown in LifeDreams are reflective of our target audience-a Gen-X entrepreneurial couple, a Boomer female business owner and a couple of retired sports enthusiasts," Sharan said. "Like our clients, they are all in different stages of realizing their dreams."


(c) 2008 Money Management Executive and SourceMedia, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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