Canada Protection Plan
This insurance company used to be part of Manulife Canada. It is now a Foresters Financial Company.
I am going to use its advertising as an example of ‘stickiness’, as defined by Malcolm Gladwell in his book. Here’s a sample TV ad, from January 2018:
Note that Toll-free number. It’s a clue as to how they can gauge the stickiness of its effect on the viewing and responding audience. The proper number is 1-877-851-9090, as seen on their website. The number on their ad is a variation of that telephone number. Over the last year, I noticed that different ads on different stations have other variations:
- 1-877-328-9090 Jeopardy! on YES TV
- 1-855-241-9090 Wheel of Fortune on YES TV
In essence, the numbers end in 9090, but then I started to notice some of the ads featured Toll-free numbers ending in 6060. So, either they were running out of numbers, or they were expanding their television market and needed a different set to see how well it was doing.
Consider the field of direct marketing. A company buys an ad in a magazine or sends out a direct mailing with a coupon attached that they want the reader to clip and mail back to them with a check for their product. Reaching the consumer with the message is not the hard part of direct marketing. What is difficult is getting consumers to stop, read the advertisement, remember it, and then act on it. To figure out which ads work the best, direct marketers do extensive testing. They might create a dozen different versions of the same ad and run them simultaneously in a dozen different cities and compare the response rates to each. Conventional advertisers have preconceived ideas about what makes an advertisement work: humor, splashy graphics, a celebrity endorser. Direct marketers, by contrast, have few such preconceptions, because the number of coupons that are mailed back or the number of people who call in on an 800 number in response to a television commercial gives them an objective, iron-clad measure of effectiveness. In the advertising world, direct marketers are the real students of stickiness, and some of the most intriguing conclusions about how to reach consumers have come from their work.The Tipping Point: The Stickiness Factor (page 91)
The text goes on to then discuss Sesame Street, but I will return to that story at a later date.
There, do you feel any better now that you’ve been invited to join their band of fellow insured individuals? Of course, you do. How could you resist their happy, smiling faces? Bless.
1-855-540-6060 The Dick Van Dyke Show on CHCH TV (Hamilton)