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Millennial, Gen-X Opps: Aflac brings attention to medical debt crisis in new work
Aflac recently rolled out a new effort in partnership with NFL legend Deion Sanders. A supporting film, "The Park Bench," rolled out on Twitch and Roku (see video above).
Designed to raise awareness of the medical debt that ruins countless lives, "Close the Gap" is designed to help those facing large medical bills. Brand ambassador Sanders recently experienced life-threatening complications in a foot surgery, which sensitized him to the gravity of the issue.
In December 2021, Aflac gave out its first 20 CareGrants to help people with medical debt so they can focus on recovery. In 2022, the company has committed $1m to this program. I expect Aflac to continue supporting CareGrants with other work featuring Sanders, so keep the company on your radar.
Last year, iSpot reports Aflac allocated roughly $65.5m toward national TV commercials, 28% more than the roughly $51.1m it allocated in 2020. Its 2021 commercials targeted male sports enthusiasts watching shows such as College Football, NFL Football, College Basketball, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and Friends.
According to Pathmatics, the company spent approximately $4.9m on digital ads last year, down 28% from the approximately $6.8m it spent in 2020. Last year, Aflac ended up earning ~440.8m digital impressions via Facebook (45%), desktop video (37%), Instagram (15%), Twitter (2%) and desktop display (2%) ads. Most of last year's desktop video ads were placed site direct onto destinations such as youtube.com (93%), twitch.tv, Hulu, yahoo.com and sports.yahoo.com.
Additionally, Magellan shows Aflac has aired around 142 podcast ads within the past 12 months, up % from the roughly 119 it aired within the prior 12 months.
Considering the rise in TV and drop in digital spend, it seems the company is targeting millennials and Gen-X more than Gen-Z right now. Per Kantar data, Aflac also invests in OOH, print (newspapers) and local broadcast. Sellers, contact soon if you can offer relevant ad space.
Agency & martech readers - I see no glaring signs of immanent agency reviews, but you may be able to secure project-based work here. Aflac currently works with creative and social AOR Sq1 (digital).