For, DRTV is a Safe Bet

The Offer: Fixed annuities is a term that causes folks’ eyes to glaze over. What’s more, many consumers have no idea what annuities are. People are more familiar with stocks and bonds and 401Ks—financial products that most of them saw swallowed up during the recession. That’s what led, until now a clearinghouse for a closed network of 1,000 insurance agents, to venture into the world of TV advertising. Its 60-second direct-response TV (DRTV) spots, produced by agency Karlin+Pimsler, inform viewers that they won’t have to delay retirement due to the vagaries of the market, using what appears to be an FBI agent carrying a safe to lend image to the theme of “guaranteed income every month for the rest of your life.” A “Safe Money Guide” explaining annuities is offered via toll-free number or website.

The Data: Targeted customers are Baby Boomers who are retired or who will be soon. This demographic controls 67% of the nation’s wealth, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

The Channel: Primarily DRTV with some online video promotion, launched the first week of January. Toll-free numbers deliver callers to customer service agents who can provide personalized annuity quotes based on age, sex, and state of residence.

The Creative: The Safe Man follows Boomers everywhere in the spots, from the golf course to the grocery store to the office. Watch for the gray-haired gent in the white convertible who drives the Safe Man away at the end of one of the spots. It’s a cameo by Kevin Dufficy, managing director of

The results: reports double-digit percentage increases in call volume and leads at its call center during the first few days of the campaign. Perhaps more impressive is that the wife of creative director and longtime producer of DRTV spots, Mal Karlin, suggested to him that they look into annuities after seeing the spot.

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