DETROIT: UnumProvident, the insurance supercompany born out of the
merger of John Hancock, Provident, and Unum, last Tuesday launched an
11-city national trade show on wheels.
Dubbed the America @ Work Tour, it features a 4,500-square-foot
interactive exhibit hauled in a custom-designed 58-foot-long
While trade shows in general are not unique, the $1 million-plus
UnumProvident venture is the first independent direct-to-customer
approach on this scale to be employed by a major insurance provider, the
Juliann Kaiser of Duffey Communications, the Atlanta-based PR agency
handling the tour, said that it's rare for large-scale commercial
efforts of this type to be limited to b-to-b audiences.
The America @ Work Tour truck will log 10,000 miles on its 10-week
cross-country journey, and is expected to attract more than 3,000
insurance brokers and corporate employee benefits managers to
The tour will make stops in Detroit, Chicago, Minneapolis, San
Francisco, San Diego, Dallas, Houston, Memphis, New York, Washington,
DC, Charlotte, NC, and Atlanta.
The tour is intended to rebrand the merged entity to key constituents
and present analyses of workplace trends, as well as show employers how
to improve workplace productivity and benefits. "Insurance has been a
conservatively oriented industry, and (insurance companies) have not
been aggressive marketers," said UnumProvident VP of corporate marketing
Keith Hickerson. "We're selling intangible products a lot of the time,
and we wanted to show in a very tangible way what we're about and what
we're trying to do for our customers."
Following the tour stops in each city, Hickerson said the company will
continue to interact with attendees through an e-mail-based program.
Attendees will also receive a CD-ROM with a virtual tour of the company.