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The Hartford Livens Up the Work Day With 'Play On' Campaign

Interactive Video Gives Small-Business Workers a Dance Break

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The Hartford, which serves the insurance needs of over 1 million small businesses, is giving office workers a dance break with its new "Play On: Office Dance" campaign.

The campaign was created by DDB's Rodgers Townsend agency, St. Louis, and is an extension of The Hartford's overall "Play On" campaign, now in its second year.

"The Hartford has done campaigns before where we've taken a very educational approach. We wanted to connect people to the message, when the unforeseen happens, The Hartford helps businesses prevail," said Steve Jones, assistant VP-marketing, small commercial at The Hartford. "This time, we wanted to do something fun and engaging that's right for social channels and online."

So it worked with Rodgers Townsend to create an interactive YouTube video that lets users liven up a dull office setting by clicking on different music genres -- from disco to retro tech to girl pop -- and watching the online office workers break into dance moves.

"The 'Play On' rallying cry has been to salute the spirit of small businesses and encourage them to keep doing what they love," said Kay Cochran, VP-creative director at Rodgers Townsend. "Small businesses are passionate about what they do, they love their work and they have a great attitude. So we thought having the music come on and letting them dance to it would resonate with people. There are certain times of the day when they just need to rock out."

The Hartford is promoting the "Play On: Office Dance" video through rich-media banner ads on sites including CBS.com, moneycontrol.com, politico.com, thefiscaltimes.com and washingtontimes.com.

It has also created a landing page where users can watch the dance video and learn about The Hartford insurance services such as data breach coverage, business income coverage and property and liability insurance.

"In the early stages of the 'Play On' campaign, we used actual customer stories and showed what happened to real small-business owners when the unforeseen happened, such as a power outage or extreme weather," Mr. Jones said. "Because their independent agents placed them with The Hartford, they had coverage that goes above and beyond what is usually seen. Businesses were able to play on."

He said The Hartford wanted to continue this "Play On" theme, but create something more engaging for small-business customers.

Ms. Cochran added, "We have always wanted to do something with music for small businesses. Music helps you get through your work day, particularly with the small-business audience -- they don't take themselves too seriously."

The agency worked with production company Cap Gun Collective to find a mix of dancers and actors to be featured in the video.

"Because this piece will resonate with the target audience in a fun way, we expect to see a lot of sharing and interaction," Mr. Jones said.

The Hartford will launch a social media campaign soon to promote the video, likely including Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, he added.

The Hartford reported core earnings of $564 million in the first quarter, up 23% over the first quarter of last year. Its commercial business made up the bulk of this, with core earnings of $264 million for the quarter, up 18% over the same period last year. Its consumer business earned $101 million for the quarter, and other operations earned $21 million. Net income for the first quarter was $495 million, up from a loss of $241.0 million in the first quarter of last year.

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