Nationwide enlists employees for latest campaign

COLUMBUS, OH: Insurance and financial service provider Nationwide has launched a new campaign that incorporates employees and their personal stories to emphasize the company's message of providing stellar customer service.

COLUMBUS, OH: Insurance and financial service provider Nationwide has launched a new campaign that incorporates employees and their personal stories to emphasize the company's message of providing stellar customer service.

The “I am On Your Side” campaign launched April 13 with TV ads starring Nationwide employees. It is accompanied by outreach to local, regional, national business, and trade media, as well as digital outreach via Facebook and other social networking sites.

“Anytime we can bring the campaign to a local level, that can be a more intimate interaction with the customer,” said Mike Switzer, communications consultant at Nationwide.

The initiative, which spans across Nationwide's insurance, investment, and banking businesses, also seeks to drive traffic to the company Web site, which unveiled longer versions of the TV ads on April 17.

The campaign strategy moves away from the previous “Life comes at you fast” messaging that highlights preparation for the unexpected. The renewed focus on a personalized customer experience is not only an external message, but an internal one.

“It's an opportunity to… hold up examples of employees enhancing the customer experience and aligns with what we're doing with our business,” said Switzer. “It'll help the employees understand better how they fit into the best-in-class customer experience.”

The campaign was developed quickly, with PR plans made as the videos were being shot earlier this month. The company will continue outreach to employees to gather stories, encouraging employees to submit video, and distributing cameras to employees to shoot video. The campaign will also be a major focus at the online associate meeting that's being held in two weeks.

Switzer said the new campaign does pose some challenges because, unlike the previous five-year campaign, which featured celebrities like Kevin Federline, this one doesn't have the “built-in ‘sellability'” of a notable name. However, the benefits outweigh the challenges.

“The reality is this is the best strategy for Nationwide,” said Switzer. “This is our brand.”

The campaign is a long-term strategy that was in development before the economic meltdown.

“It's about finding where Nationwide can differentiate itself from competitors,” noted Switzer. “In the long run, if we can understand how our customer experience is different, we'll be successful.”

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