Those who know Apia, love Apia. Apia is a rare example of a brand that is specifically designed for a neglected consumer – the over 50s. Apia champions the needs of the over 50s within its customer base. So why not broaden that message? Why not champion the lives and achievements of the 50+ generation publically? Championing over 50s meant its brand message didn’t matter as much to people as the stories of this generation. Their stories. It couldn’t simply claim “live at your best” - it had to show them what that meant.
Apia, “the insurer for over 50s”, boasted highest customer satisfaction and retention but amongst non-customers, lacked meaning. It’s difficult to differentiate in insurance – especially with a 4% share of category expenditure. Research indicated Apia’s new “the brand for over 50’s” positioning had strong potential, but it was up against heritage powerhouses such as RACV and NRMA, and $20M TV budgets. Over 50s have been insurance category customers for 25+ years – they are experienced and knowledgeable. They are averse to change, and would prefer providers they know, so it needed to resonate strongly to get on their consideration list. Apia’s brand health for both motor and home insurance had deteriorated. Awareness and consideration levels had declined. To build trust and understanding it couldn’t rely on its brand positioning alone – it needed to prove the meaning behind the message.
With over 7 million people aged 50+ in Australia, there was a wealth of inspiration. This generation “still very much have a voice, an interest in contributing, and a desire for both to be recognised.” (HEC 2012) Studies revealed the 50-plus market had shown increasing signs that they would rather understand more about a brand and build a relationship with them, before they would buy from them. By listening rather than telling, Apia could start to build that trust.
There is a myth that over 50s are boring and culturally conservative. But in reality, this is the generation that defined the world we live in today, they shaped contemporary culture and spend more on this passion than anything else. The connection of the over 50s to music is often overlooked – typically, branded music activations revolve around youth and millennials. But this generation is unlike those before them, and they still have a strong connection to both the music of their youth and contemporary music. SMG saw the opportunity for Apia to champion this still vital 50+ audience, develop a content led platform to recognise their life achievements, set to the soundtrack of the music from their heyday. One customer said “We are the era of Live Aussie Rock Bands… music we will have for the rest of our lives. When we go into retirement homes we don’t want Frank Sinatra, we want Darryl Braithwaite, James Reyne and all the other Aussie rock legends that shaped our lives”. Apia created a world first music tour for over 50s – four decades of icons, together in one concert for the first time, and taken to the people: Apia’s Time of My Life campaign. Who better to tell us how they “live life at their best” than the audience themselves?
Apia launched “The Time of My Life” with an online promotion inviting over 50’s to share experiences and achievements. Inspirational stories flooded in: migrants, WWII nurses, even an Indian-Pacific railway worker. Over 50s were still achieving – from “second careers” to even finding love online! Participants became active leads and were given exclusive Apia experiences. SMG asked Australian Over 50 Icons; Oscar nominated actors, National sporting heroes, music legends, photographers and journalists to share their achievements, personally and professionally.
Bringing together the life experiences of all over 50’s, these incredible stories became long and short form content – a 3 minute 8 part series and 8 x 30 minute full length episodes across digital and TV. Over 16 pieces of unique content demonstrated APIA as ‘the brand for over 50’s’, recognising the people.
Participants and customers’ reward was the ultimate celebration - Apia’s Time of My Life Tour. The soundtrack to the lives of Australians over 50s is the music of the 60s, 70s and 80s. It united four music legends from four decades in a sold out, world first concert. 16 live shows across all states, earned coverage on National prime time TV, major digital, print mastheads and radio - even a performance at the Australian Rules ANZAC Day epic football event – cumulated in an overwhelming response.
Concert doors were then opened to a wider 50+ audience, making Apia a hugely desired brand. In signing up for the concert, attendees became active leads for the business and future Apia experiences.
The campaign achieved $4.9m in shared stories.
Business results showed a positive acquisition ratio: $2.92 for every $1 spent through projected GWP, producing 72,535 new business leads– smashing the 10,000 target and almost doubling the ROI goal. It engaged customers first, who accounted for 34% of leads.
The concert series became the talk of the country with total reach exceeding 11.2m! 20,000 people attended, and a further 192,368 more consumers were able to share in direct experiences via activations.
The television stories reached 6.6 million 50+, multi-channel reach 7.9 million+. It generated 95% positive social brand commentary. Implementing ‘money can’t buy’ concerts delivered a positive acquisition ratio of $1.3m in gross written premium.
Content engagement would achieve a media stretch of 695%. Nationally, 400+ articles were published and community interest ran hot via 60 radio interviews. A concert video grab went viral: 55,000+ views! Despite Apia having no social platform it saw an organic social explosion! Over 1m impressions on Facebook and Twitter. Apia – an over 50s brand - ranked #2 in insurance social share of voice! “I’m not a pensioner – I’m 50 years old and I loved the APIA Time of My Life Tour!” (Twitter)