My role in the project
A bit of background…
For more than 75 years, State Trustees has been helping Victorians with legal wills, estate planning, probate, power of attorney and trustee services. In other words, they deal with a bunch of sensitive subjects that most people like putting off because it doesn't seem important until a significant life event occurs.
The 2018 Seniors Festival was coming up in October, and State Trustees wanted to run a campaign to:
- drive sales of their services and
- build brand trust and awareness.
We were one of three agencies pitching for the work.
Seeing as we already had a strong relationship with State Trustees, we decided to collaborate on the campaign ideation process. Head of Strategy and Co-Founder of GMG (Nick Grinberg) and I presented some initial ideas and concepts to the State Trustees marketing team to gauge their interest and feedback.
After running over four or five loose ideas, we received feedback that the concept titled "The life you built" was what the marketing team wanted to see fleshed out. And so, we went to work on the "big" pitch.
THE (BIG) PITCH
We aimed for a sentimental and emotional angle, specifically around protecting the life that our seniors have built by offering a discount on all Wills. Rather than being too literal about 'getting a discount on a Will' we made it more of a 'thank you' and a 'celebration' of the life that Victorian Seniors have built.
I took inspiration from Apple's "Think Different" ad from 1997 and drew upon nostalgic memories to come up with a mockup. I wrote the script, performed the voice-over and sourced stock footage (hence the watermarks).
In the pitch deck, we also mocked up artwork — the messaging was altered to include a stronger call to action so we could drive enquiries and sales:
The response from the State Trustees Marketing Team — they absolutely loved it!
The State Trustees marketing team advised us that they clearly preferred our concept. However, they still needed to present all ideas to their board of directors for final appoval. The board approved our concept but provided some requested changes:
- The campaign couldn't mention the words "thank you."
- The campaign had to mention the slogan "Let's Talk."
- The campaign had to reference the look and feel of the "Let's Talk." brand spec sheet.
- Rather than going with a discounted offer, they wanted to make the CTA "Free Wills".
We were really excited at the prospect that we could give the Wills away for free as this would make for a far stronger CTA and was certain to resonate with Seniors who are generally looking for discounts and freebies.
PLANNING FOR SUCCESS
We received final approval to proceed with the campaign on the 31st of September, and all creative assets were due by the 5th of October. We had a little over a month to execute the campaign with the following assets:
- Digital Display Banners
- Youtube pre-roll
- Social hero video
- Radio ads
- Website (landing page)
- DL Flyer
To execute each asset within our deadlines, I knew we had to be extremely well organised in our collaboration and feedback process. I chose to utilise the excellent online whiteboard tool, Miro (formerly RealtimeBoard), as our project management software for the duration of the campaign. It proved to be one of the best decisions I made and was one of the main reasons why the campaign was a success (in my opinion).
FIRST THINGS FIRST
Quite often, it's difficult to know where to start when you have multiple tasks with overlapping deadlines, so I started with a basic timeline where I set the material deadlines and worked back from there.
The advantages of using a tool like Miro (formerly RealtimeBoard) is its collaborative features.
- It's always available online
- Multiple people can work on it in "realtime"
- You can design, sketch and paste digital files directly in the browser
- You don't need to keep track of different files/folders across different applications
The client was particularly happy using Miro as the primary project management tool.
PRINT & OOH
The first priority was to work on the print and OOH due to the material deadlines. We wanted to maintain a consistent tone of voice and message from the outset of this campaign.
SQUEEZE PAGE (UX)
The success or failure of the campaign was largely based on how easily a senior could book an appointment and receive their free Will. We applied UX best practices to the squeeze page (otherwise known as a landing page). The goal of the squeeze page was pretty simple — convince, or "squeeze" the user down the funnel to provide their contact details so a State Trustees representative could contact them and arrange an appointment to get their free Will.
Head of Strategy, Nick Grinberg, provided a quick low-fi wireframe as a basis for how the squeeze page could look and the XD Team worked together to turn it into a hi-fi mockup. Some key considerations for the squeeze page were to ensure that the phone number was extremely accessible and in full view at all times. This is due to Seniors preferring to contact via the phone rather than an online enquiry form (according to earlier research conducted by GMG).
We tackled this problem on mobile by adding a "sticky" footer button that when tapped, would immediately call State Trustees to book an appointment. In order to reduce clutter on the screen, the "sticky" footer button was only visible when the user scrolled back up the page and it would disappear when the user scrolled down the page.
DESKTOP SQUEEZE PAGE
MOBILE SQUEEZE PAGE
THE 'HERO' VIDEO
Drawing on inspiration from our initial video concept that we presented in the pitch, we engaged with a copywriter who was tasked with using the same tone of voice, but removing all references to "thank you". After some tweaks to the script and removing a few lines to keep it as close to a 60 spot as possible, we arrived at this:
We also produced three Youtube pre-roll edits. The main measurement of success for these kinds of ads is the view through rate. Generally, a 15% view through rate is considered standard. This means that 15% of users will watch the ad from start to end. Our ads performed extremely well with an 89% view through rate.
The first six seconds of a pre-roll ad can't be skipped, so I knew we needed to capture the attention of the viewer from the outset. I was initially toying with the idea of introducing the free Will offer in that first six seconds, but after review, it lacked context and emotive power. The line "October’s a time to celebrate the seniors in our community." captured the spirit of the campaign and clearly resonated with the target audience.
15 sec YouTube pre-roll
30 sec YouTube pre-roll
Making display banners adequately present a more sensitive message can be difficult. Most animated banners are designed to scream out for attention using fast motion and bright colours. In order to maintain consistency, we had to embody not only the look and feel of the visual assets, but we needed to animate those visual assets in a way that fit with the overall campaign aesthetics.
We initially toyed with the idea of incorporating a music bed with the voice over. But after a number of iterations, we opted for a straight read which had more cut-through than the versions with music.
After putting in a huge effort over three weeks, we were eagerly anticipating the launch of the campaign.
State Trustees run weekly 'appointments booked' reports and within only two and a half days, they had seen a 40% increase when compared to the weekly average.
Further to this, their New Business Team were struggling to keep up with the volume of leads from the campaign — so much so that they requested all paid media be paused to give them some breathing room. An amazing problem to have!
State Trustees had forecast and resourced to deal with a 25%-35% increase in enquiries on the back of the campaign. Two weeks into the campaign and they were experiencing a 400% increase.
Two weeks into the campaign and they were experiencing a 400% increase in enquiries.
What contributed to the success of this campaign? It was a question we were all asking because even we were slightly surprised at how well it performed.
Here are some takeaways that I believe were key to the success of the campaign:
- We had a deep understanding of their target audience through validated research. We were involved in conducting parts of their research and we identified some key insights around Seniors and what they want. In particular, they (maybe even more so than the average person) love free or discounted things. The offer of getting a free Will was a great foundational point to draw Seniors in and get them to act and book an appointment.
- We refrained from making "Free Wills" the hero of the campaign. Instead, we made "Seniors" and the "life they built" the hero of the campaign. What draws people in — a great offer or a great story? I think we found out that in this instance, a great story is what draws people in and a great offer is what gets the audience to convert. One without the other won't have the same impact.
- You don't need a $100K budget for creative in order to make something that impacts the target audience. All photography, video and music assets were stock. We spent most of our creative energy on the story in the script which again emphasises the power of storytelling over special effect or high production value assets.
- Collaboration makes for a better result, in a shorter period of time. I was collaborating with the client daily to arrive at better outcomes so we could act fast and ensure deadlines were met. We avoided going too far down the rabbit hole before needing to correct our course. Most of the collaboration was via phone and email but additionally, using Miro (formerly RealtimeBoard) was a great help.