It isn't sexy to have supplemental insurance. Even insurance brands can reach new audiences with the right media strategy.
Aflac launched its first ever TikTok campaign last summer. It isn't enough to just pour more money into social media.
Since last year, Aflac has made a number of changes to its marketing plans.
The digital media landscape is getting more fractured, but budgets aren't getting any larger, according to Aflac's chief marketing officer.
Making the same media dollars work harder involves in-housing. For Aflac, the point of in-housing is to cut down its creative budget so the company can spend more money running ad campaigns that span the digital video sphere, from traditional TV to TikTok.
The insurance company ran a March Madness campaign earlier this month.
There is aflac in the house.
More than half of Aflac's marketing employees work in the studio.
It wasn't until January of this year that Aflac's embrace of creative in-housing came to fruition.
It makes sense that Knutson doubled down on in-housing his first order of business when he was promoted to chief marketing officer.
He said that more and more content needs to fit into different video channels and ad placements. Figuring out how to do more with less is part of the process.
Aflac Studio has doubled the amount of resources it has and is able to do a lot of work that used to be done by external agencies.
Knutson said that the in-house team can shoot and produce video ad creative at a very high quality. Aflac can spend more on ads if it spends less on creative.
Although Aflac's in-house team is focused on TikTok and other organic social channels, that doesn't mean the brand is not working with its agency partners.
Aflac's marketing team can be most efficient by pooling resources between Aflac Studio and other agencies.
All of the organic content for Aflac's social media channels was produced by Aflac's in-house studio. Television commercials still sit mostly with other agency partners, even though Aflac Studio has produced a few spots before.
The media is crazy.
Aflac's March Madness campaign, which ran on TV and social media, is an example of how its studio takes the reins on creative while also collaborating with agencies.
The brand produced its own content for social media.
Even though Aflac Studio didn't produce the TV spots itself, the studio shot what Aflac calls "pre-campaign teases," testimonials and behind-the-scenes footage, including real Aflac agents interviewing the coaches starring in Aflac's TV commercial
Aflac used social media to increase brand awareness.
It's connecting the dots.
TV and social are used by Aflac in different ways.
The fact that Aflac is a supplemental insurance company helps increase overall reach.
CTV is a more targeted way of reaching. The target age demo for the company is 25-54 years old. It is using streaming spots to promote its dental and vision plans.
Aflac is able to run ads on streaming services that target viewers who watch other college sports since they overlap with its March Madness audience.
Women are starting to be targeted more closely by Aflac.
80% of health care-related decisions are made by women according to the company. Knutson said that Aflac plans to become more female-leaning and that the customer base is roughly 50% male and 50% female.
Social video can be used to target specific people and drive engagement.
Aflac is using social channels to promote individual insurance plans to sports fans. It retargets ads to consumers who saw them on TV or visited Aflac's website.
Customer engagement can be picked up by running content on social media during the tournament, such as when a team wins or loses.
Knutson says Aflac isn't interested in sports betting. The brand is moving away from linear in favor of digital media.
Knutson said that Aflac has high hopes for its ability to take advantage of the shift in digital marketing strategy.