As the 2016 Summer Olympics come to a close later this week in Rio, I can’t help but wonder whether to cheer the fact that I’ve not heard one iota from a life insurance company, or bemoan the industry’s lack of exposure in an era of middling life insurance sales.
There are (at least) two sides to this issue, as there are to every issue.
Life insurers can argue that showcasing their brands before a global audience attending a tainted event further sullied by a spineless International Olympic Committee is not where they want to be.
After all, every dollar spent by a life insurer in Rio means a dollar less spent somewhere else. It's one less dollar spent in the U.S., in distribution, in technology infrastructure, in product design and – yes – in lowering premiums or extending better coverage terms.
What’s the connection between beautiful physiques (even if molded by dope) and protecting the future for loved ones in case of death?
Top advertisers like McDonald’s and Procter & Gamble blare all sorts of messages, depending on the TV market they want to reach. But it’s not hard to infer a message of longevity in at least some of the ads. So why not life insurers?
Then there’s the TV ad by Citi, the global financial services giant, which features prominently at the Games of the XXXI Olympiad.
Over the past 10 days, Citi admits that its business isn’t to train athletes, keep muscles warm or design prosthetics. Citi’s job, the voice over says, is to sponsor progress and help Americans compete on the global stage.
If there’s a role for Citi, there surely must be a role for life insurers, the largest of which are truly global companies such as Citi.
Which isn’t to say that insurance brands are absent from the Games. Liberty Mutual Group is an official sponsor of the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic teams.
I’m curious to see what kind of exposure life insurers will create for themselves during the Paralympic Games. This would be an ideal venue for companies active in the disability arena and the business of making people whole again.
There’s no better place for a life insurer to showcase its support of athletes overcoming adversity than the Paralympics, even if at last count ticket sales were very slow.
Allianz earlier this year announced it would be a first-tier sponsor of the Paralympic Games in Rio Sept. 7-18, which is good news for the life insurance sector generally.
Will branding and sponsorship generate a lift in life and disability insurance sales? The ad metrics gurus are the ones to answer that.
In terms of exposure, though, I can’t think of a better place in which to invest to celebrate extraordinary achievement, particularly of athletes with disabilities.
Now that’s a medal-worthy performance.
InsuranceNewsNet Senior Writer Cyril Tuohy has covered the financial services industry for more than 15 years. Cyril may be reached at [email protected].
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