Scottish Widows is raising its marketing spend by more than 50% to £11m in a bid to fight the effects of a “likely” economic downturn and leverage its London 2012 Olympic sponsorship.
The Lloyds TSB-owned insurance and pensions company says it spent £7m on above-the-line media last year and will up it to £11m in 2008.
The media plan includes a £5m TV campaign next month highlighting its role as the official pensions provider of London 2012. Scottish Widows, which was on air in January, will also run a campaign in August when the Beijing Olympics will be hosted.
Marketing director Mike Hoban says: “Our sponsorship of the Olympics is going to be especially helpful in the current economic climate.”
The move goes against predictions that financial services brands will reduce marketing budgets due to the credit crunch triggered by a downturn in the US sub-prime market. Thomson Intermedia predicted budgets would be cut by as much as 10%.
But Hoban says: “We are increasing our investment in advertising because of the likely economic downturn.”
He says the Olympic sponsorship deal also adds to the perceived size and status of the brand. Three Olympic-themed ads, created by Leo Burnett, will run. They range from 20 to 50 seconds, feature young gymnasts and end with the brand’s iconic “Widow” character.
Scottish Widows has also launched Olympic-themed digital campaigns and announced Olympian Roger Black and Paralympian Sarah Storey as its 2012 ambassadors.