Sponsorship beats advertising, says AIA

Instead of conventional ads, insurer focuses on sponsoring events aligned with its values

Sponsorship beats advertising, says AIA

Insurance News

By Gabriel Olano

While many insurance companies spend big money to produce glamorous advertisements, one insurer has noticeably dialled back on advertising, instead placing most of its marketing budget into sponsorship of various events.

Instead of typical print and TV ads, AIA has made several high-profile sponsorships, including the Great European Carnival, and the Iron Man Experience attraction at Disneyland Hong Kong.

According to Knattapisit Krutkrongchai, AIA’s head of business strategy for Hong Kong and Macau, the heavy investment in sponsorship is “not just a random thing” and that it is much more effective than simple advertising.

“When you come across any nice ad, would you share? Would you take a photo of the nice billboard and put on your Facebook? You wouldn’t do that,” Krutkrongchai told Marketing Interactive. He thinks that while advertising is still important, it is just one-way communication.

AIA has been the principal sponsor of the Oxfam Trailwalker since 2015 and has extended its sponsorship for another three years. The event is one of the largest fundraising sports events in Hong Kong, which involves traversing the 100-kilometer MacLehose Trail from Sai Kung to Yuen Long within 48 hours.

Krutkrongchai said that almost all Oxfam Trailwalker participants take pictures at each of the trail’s 10 checkpoints without any prodding from AIA. He added that AIA believes in creating an event that leaves happy memories and experiences, which goes beyond just plastering the company’s logo everywhere.

The sponsorship of Oxfam Trailwalker also fits into AIA’s focus on healthy living.

“Since the launch of AIA Vitality in 2015, we thought we needed to have some way get the public to be involved in our healthy living focus,” Krutkrongchai said.

“If our clients are healthier, and they live better lives, what would happen? We pay fewer claims – instead of paying their claims now, we can pay them later which is really beneficial for insurance company. So it’s win-win for everyone and that’s the definition of creating shared value.”

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