LINCOLN FINANCIAL AIMS AD EFFORT AT SUPERRICH IN U.S.: UNUSUAL MEDIA BUYS BACKED BY $30 MIL BUDGET TARGET AFFLUENT

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Lincoln Financial Group is looking for a few good millionaires. So like the armed services, the financial services giant last week launched an advertising assault in TV and print.

As part of a $25 million to $30 million campaign focused on the affluent, Lincoln's latest TV spots target the 2% of the country's "superaffluent" households -- those with liquid assets of $1 million to $3 million. The broader "affluent" group represents 22% of U.S. households with assets of more than $100,000.

The new campaign, created by Martin/Williams, Minneapolis, seeks to reach the sometimes elusive ultrarich using meticulous research and unusual media buys. For instance, the ads appear in traditional upscale business publications Forbes, Worth and Kiplinger's but also in Gourmet, Architectural Digest, Tennis and Travel & Leisure.

SPECIAL EVENTS

Lincoln also is planning more than 100 tony special events during the year including a cocktail party for 40 at the Smithsonian in Washington, a private event in New York with presidential hopeful Steve Forbes and an ESPN night at the Los Angeles Forum with NBA Lakers executive Jerry West.

"From our media research, one of the things we found about this group is they are very selective about how they consume media," said Pam Malone, Martin/Williams management supervisor.

Thanks to heady economic times, Lincoln's select target group is growing at a wild pace. Over the next decade, the number of people who become millionaires is expected to grow at a rate 17 times that of the general population, according to researcher Affluent Marketing Institute.

ADDITIONAL, ONGOING EFFORT

While Lincoln's latest effort seeks to reach the uber-wealthy, the ongoing ad campaign -- tested in four markets last year -- has a broader goal. Lincoln is looking to expand its insurance-company heritage; its other services include annuities, mutual funds, estate planning and investment management.

"Any ad campaign should build your awareness as a company, and we expect a quantitative shift in recall with consumers," said Gloster Current, Lincoln VP-marketing and public relations. "We also expect to communicate a message that we are the company that makes financial information clear; that we help consumers make their own decisions. And we expect to generate leads for our planners in

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