Momentum's partner in this bold marketing venture is traditional full-service agency, FCB Cape Town, which suggested that, to capture the imagination of its target audience, the life assurance house needed to adopt an 'in your face' media strategy to deliver a smart, out-of-the-box message.
It mooted five television commercials supported by print and cinema campaigns to provide the creative excitement with high spend in the first month on television and relying on bursts every few months in other media thereafter to maintain awareness and boost recall. For more than a decade Momentum has not flighted an advertising campaign.
FCB Cape Town managing director, Brian Stockdale, explained: "While Momentum is widely regarded as one of the most exciting business success stories of the past 10 years, its public persona has remained understated and subdued. To continue growing at the pace it has achieved recently, it needed to change this perception and broaden its appeal.
"Preparing our strategy, we rationalised that, in Momentum, we had a company with a unique and progressive internal culture that had been responsible for remarkable growth and financial success.
"Herein, we saw, lay the opportunity – by externalising Momentum's internal culture we would build awareness, affinity and sustainable differentiation for the Momentum brand. By presenting the values inherent within the internal culture – energy, ambition, drive, goal-orientation, individuality, urgency – as those best suited to the self-acceleration of individual success, we would immediately resonate with Momentum's target audience.
"Momentum had already internally adopted 'spirit of success' as their brand essence and this served as a challenge to the creative team to develop a campaign that would appeal to the spirit of success inherent in aspirational South Africans everywhere while convincing them that Momentum is the ultimate facilitator of individual success," said Stockdale.
The FCB Cape Town creative team of executive creative director Francois de Villiers, art director Brenton Bubb and copywriter Liezl-Mari Long, along with group executive creative director Ashley Bacon, developed five television commercials, one of which specifically addresses Momentum's support for the SA 2010 Bid. These were shot over a five-day period on locations as diverse as Nyanga, Fresnaye and London.
De Villiers said that all five commercials strive to act as a catalyst for Momentum's brand essence and elicit the desired consumer response, which is 'success starts now'. The advertising proposition is presented in a thought provoking tone, he said, and it highlights that Momentum's philosophy is different from other life assurance groups. Whereas other companies compensate clients for their current mediocrity at some distant date in the future, Momentum wants to assist its clients be successful now and in the near future.
"This philosophy sits well with Momentum's target market, which comprises goal-orientated individuals impatient for material success," said De Villiers. "They either work full time or are self-employed; have high disposable incomes; and are typically within the 7-10 LSM brackets.
"To appeal to this ambitious potential client, we decided to show equally ambitious and successful individuals talking about what the spirit of success means to them. There's Paul Simon, the founder of YDE; TV personality Basetsana Makgelemele-Khumalo, rock artist Karen Zoid and the South African Cricket Captain, Graeme Smith. The copy is simple, direct, engaging and the treatment of the client's logo and pay-off line 'Making a success of life' unobtrusive yet strong.
"We're very proud of these commercials and our client; the commercials because they are well crafted and well produced and the client because they pushed us to communicate in a manner that is markedly different from how others playing in the same competitive space are talking," De Villiers said.
Client Beth van Heerden admitted it is too early to measure the success of the campaign and the media strategy but said the feedback from clients; agents and brokers had been phenomenal.
Says van Heerden: "The campaign aims to be both inspirational and aspirational by focusing on South Africans who have made a success of life, by investing in themselves to make a difference in their own lives."