A four-week spring sales campaign is a 45-year tradition at Farm Bureau Life in West Des Moines, IA, but there's nothing traditional about the way they go about it. And this year, the campaign got its muscle from a band of superhuman agents, including Captain Closer, Sales Hunk, Appman, and Wonder Writer, who burst on the scene in late February to fire up agents and home office employees during the five-week promotional period that leads into the company's critical, four-week sprint contest in April.
"It's a pretty intense sales period," says Blake Weber, director of advertising and sales promotion. "It serves as a barometer for our year: a good campaign and we're in generally good shape for the year. This was a successful campaign."
THE PROGRAM Company: Farm Bureau Life Insurance, West Des Moines, IA
Event: Spring Campaign 1997
Site: The top qualifier earned a three-night trip to Orlando, but cash and merchandise were the key incentives.
Qualification Period: April 1, 1997 through May 2, 1997. Promotion for the short-term campaign began in late February 1997
Qualifiers: Just one agent is able to qualify for the top travel reward, but an additional 478 agents earned a cash reward. In addition, the campaign includes merchandise incentives for about two dozen home office employees, which are given out in drawings held throughout the four-week sales campaign.
Theme: Super Heroes of Spring Campaign
Design: Hellman & Associates, a Waterloo, IA-based design firm, created the superhero cartoon characters, designed and printed all promotional materials, and produced the animated superheroes video.
Promotion Budget: The budget for the entire campaign, including cash awards, the top winner's trip, promotional materials, and all direct mail efforts, was $215,000.
Departments Involved: Media Development, Agency Services, Advertising & Sales Promotion, Communication & Public Relations, Life Operations, and Agency
Planner Comment: "We involve everyone in the company in some fashion," says Blake Weber, director of advertising and sales promotion. "Total involvement and visibility are what we want out of the campaign."