New York Life Names Roster Shops for PR, Creative, Media Buying

Weber Shandwick, Anomaly, MediaVest Will Help Insurer Reach 'Maturing Millennials'

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New York Life has hired Weber Shandwick for consumer marketing communications and PR; Anomaly for creative and advertising; and MediaVest for media planning and buying following a competitive review.

The gold top of the New York Life building in New York City
The gold top of the New York Life building in New York City Credit: David Shankbone/Creative Commons

The insurance company has been seeking to support its upcoming consumer-focused brand marketing program, which will look to engage "maturing millennials," said Kelli Parsons, senior VP-chief communications and marketing officer at New York Life.

"Our objective is to continue to be relevant and appeal to our current core audience, which would be primarily comprised of baby boomers and Generation X based on the cycle of their life and their financial needs, but we recognize that an emerging consumer that I call the maturing millennial has a growing and distinct need for the products and service that we provide," she said.

This demographic, she said, is beginning to make milestone decisions, such as buying houses, getting married, and having children. New York Life wants to become relevant to this consumer set now and help through various life stages, including retirement planning down the line.

The campaign will launch next year across all areas of paid, earned, shared, and owned media, including TV and online ads, social media engagement, and communications insights and analytics.

Roth Observatory handled the reviews, which initially included 10 to 12 firms in each category. The pitch was narrowed down to three or four finalists per group.

While the three reviews were held separately, Ms. Parsons said New York Life brought all interested parties together for briefings before setting up individual meetings. Ultimately, she said the decisions came down to agencies' people as much as their capabilities and track record.

Ms. Parsons said she believes the firms are "willing to work together in a more integrated way to bring the types of solutions to market that will help us achieve our mission, which is to help individuals and families protect and grow their finance security."

Contracts are still in the process of being signed, said Ms. Parsons, with the goal of having the firms officially onboard before the end of the year.

A search for a digital agency partner is still underway. The winning firm will collaborate with Weber, Anomaly, and MediaVest on the new campaign.

New York Life will continue working with PR agency of record Sloane & Co. on garnering media attention for the brand's insurance, annuity, and mutual fund products and solutions, as well as its institutional asset management business.

Prior to Anomaly, New York Life worked with Havas on creative. Assembly was the company's incumbent on the media planning and buying side for more than six years.

According to Kantar Media, last year New York Life spent $73.9 million on measured media.

Representatives from the winning firms and incumbents were not immediately available for comment.

For 2014, New York Life posted a 14.7% increase in operating earnings, year-over-year, to $2.02 billion, according to the company's earnings statement.

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