Taking Risks, Increasing Response
The Creative Challenge
One of the first things Hawkins did was hire Gary Hennerberg, founder of Hennerberg Group Inc. in Colleyville, Texas, to devise new creative that would grab the eyes—and minds—of potential customers who weren't responding to the old creative efforts. "We'd been going to the same target market for seven years with the same type of creative and were very lucky that we'd been able to ride it for that long," says Hawkins. "We tried new creative every year, but were using the same designer to come up with new packages. We weren't getting something fresh and new. With this creative, we went way outside our normal efforts."
Hennerberg collaborated with designer Perry Steinhoff of Vital Clarity in Asheville, N.C., on the package for Assurity's term life product. The key in the copy was to educate readers that for the price of their daily cup of coffee, they could buy Assurity's term life insurance. A four-page letter with handwriting call outs starts with the salutation, "Dear Family Breadwinner."
"I can't tell you how controversial this was at Assurity," says Hennerberg. "But Steve loved it. He said, 'Let the creative people do what the creative people do well.' One of the big pieces of advice I would give to any reader is if you're working with a top-notch professional who is a copywriter, don't change a word of the copy unless it's simply incorrect or illegal. Check your attitude about what your customer will read at the door. You probably are not like your customer."
The envelope design on the new package entices potential customers to read the contents. "Marbling gives it a very official look," says Hennerberg. "There's a seal on the back flap, and on the front of the envelope in the upper right, we have an eagle in the postal indicia. Little black boxes at the edge, which look like bar codes, slow down the reader. There are lot of things design-wise that have made it work."