This year’s Academy Awards—where black actors were nominated in every acting category for the first time in Oscar history—was the icing on the cake of Black History Month.
Through the second year of its “Worth Telling” content marketing campaign, Allstate Insurance Co. was one of the many brands observing the occasion in February. This year, Allstate changed its approach, slimming down the number of individuals it honored from eight to three and traveling to each honoree’s city to capture documentary-style videos and host community events to support the campaign.
Georgina Flores, vice president of product marketing for Allstate, talks about the campaign, how it all came together, the importance of social media and how it markets “Worth Telling” and the supporting events.
CM: What is the goal of the Worth Telling campaign?
FLORES: Allstate is committed to creating, supporting and sponsoring programs that empower the African-American community. One of the ways we demonstrate that support is through our Worth Telling campaign, which celebrates Black History Month by sharing inspirational stories of African-American pioneers who are impacting communities across the country today.
CM: Who did you feature this year?
FLORES: This year’s campaign features three individuals with ties to Mobile, AL; Philadelphia; and New Orleans, who are creating career opportunities for the underserved through [a barber college]; raising awareness about diversity and representation through comics; and providing tools that support the advancement of African Americans through entrepreneurial opportunities.
CM: How do you market the videos?
FLORES: We’re employing an integrated marketing strategy using national radio, social media, digital, local events and public relations.
CM: Can you share a few examples?
FLORES: We’re using network radio and radio integrations, with campaign content airing on the Tom Joyner Morning Show, the Michael Baisden Show and other AURN affiliate stations to help reach our target audience. We’re also using streaming radio, specifically Pandora.
CM: What are you doing on social?
FLORES: Allstate’s official social media accounts on YouTube, Facebook and Instagram are being utilized to further share Worth Telling content and drive engagements among the African-American community. For the individuals featured in the campaign who are on social media, they are also pushing out their own #WorthTelling social content featuring campaign assets. The videos are being advertised on several websites including Essence, BET, OWN and TIME. In addition, we’ve created a PR plan that amplifies the Worth Telling participants’ unique stories through traditional earned media tactics.
CM: Is social a growing component in the Allstate marketing basket?
FLORES: Absolutely. Social has become such a strong force in the marketing space overall, and as a customer-centric organization we’ve found that it opens doors for us to communicate with our audience in ways we weren’t able to previously.
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CM: Where do you see social having the most impact?
FLORES: With more eyes on social and digital than ever before, using social and digital properties will continue to be an important part of our strategy—whether it is launching a new campaign, to creating awareness around a new product or initiative, to engaging with consumers in unique and authentic ways.
CM: How did you execute events tied to Worth Telling?
FLORES: Allstate agents hosted events in each individual’s local market to highlight their outstanding contributions and honor the three individual’s participation.
CM: How did you activate the events?
FLORES: We included special viewings of each individual’s Allstate “Worth Telling” video. Allstate sponsored a free haircut event in Isaac White Sr.’s honor at his barber college. Aaron Walker was on hand at a panel discussion for 11th and 12th grade students at Warren Easton Charter High on the impact of African-American business and entrepreneurship. Allstate made a $5,000 donation to the school’s Hall of Fame scholarship fund, which awards standout seniors each year. Finally, “Superhero Day” in Philadelphia honored the strides made by Ariell Johnson in the comic book industry. The community
was invited to dress up as their favorite superhero and join a panel discussion about diversity and representation in comics.
CM: How do you market the events to get people there?
FLORES: Each of the individuals are impactful in their respective communities, so the events have gained attention in a number of ways: through their relationships in their own communities; school administration and Black History Clubs; local media and social media.
CM: How many people on average attend the events?
FLORES: Our goal was to have relevant influencers, prominent community leaders as well as friends, neighbors and family members who have been inspired by Isaac, Aaron and Ariell’s unique contributions to the African-American community in attendance. Between the three events, we had about 250 attendees.
CM: The program is in its second year—what did you learn from year one and how did you employ those learnings this year?
FLORES: Even with strong consumer engagement with the studio-produced video content that drove the overall narrative of the program on social and digital, we learned that consumers sought to forge a deeper connection to the individuals in the campaign. With this in mind, we explored more in-depth storytelling.
CM: As a marketer in a very competitive market, what keeps you up at night?
FLORES: With the environment continuing to evolve and becoming more and more competitive in trying to win the consumer’s attention, I continue to focus on messaging effectiveness—making sure we are delivering the right message at the right time to the right consumer. This rings especially true within the digital marketplace—having the right mix of analytics, creative and media to efficiently deliver our message.