A new reverse mortgage advertising and public awareness campaign is launching this week, including three commercials in pilot cities Denver, Philadelphia and Seattle.
The campaign is a product of the reverse mortgage industry’s “Extreme Summit” effort—a lender-sponsored undertaking to rebrand reverse mortgages and market program changes.
“Even though our product has been around for 20 years, we still have opportunity for growth,” said Liberty Home Equity Solutions Director of Marketing Mary Smith in discussing the pilot campaign with industry participants via a National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association webcast. “We conducted research to ask consumers how they felt about reverse mortgages and we are now looking at our marketing in a different way so we can go after the 99% opportunity ahead of us.”
The campaign focuses on the “new” reverse mortgage, and a resulting new take on marketing. Monday, a TV commercial will launch in the pilot cities; a product of NRMLA participants including marketing professionals from some of the largest lenders as well as a third party advertising agency.
The pilot cities were selected specifically for their ability to translate local results into direction for a national campaign that will launch subsequently.
“These cities will product statistically reliable results we can translate on a national level,” said Jean Noble, head of marketing and call center sales for Urban Financial of America.
The TV campaign will run during morning, daytime and evening, primarily on news platforms and departing from the timing of commercials that have historically been positioned as reverse mortgage direct response marketing.
“This is meant to be a branded TV campaign and not associated with direct response,” Noble said. “It is designed to attract baby boomers and non-needs based clients.”
A print component will also accompany the TV advertising.
“The reverse mortgage has changed, and want to make sure everybody understands that,” Smith said. “Our goal is to change perceptions from last resort to smart financial choice.”
Also under the campaign, lenders have established an academic advisory board for reverse mortgages as well as a public relations strategy that targets misinformed media and aims for three positive stories in the press for every negative one focused on reverse mortgages.
Additionally, the campaign is making marketing materials available to lenders including an online resource and printed PDF copies of the NewReverseMortgage brochure. Those materials can be downloaded from NRMLA’s website beginning on Monday, July 7.
“We intend for this to be the loudest message ever delivered by the reverse mortgage industry,” NRMLA said in a newsletter to members last week. “It behooves us all to educate the public about how recent changes have made reverse mortgages a safer product, that the costs are lower than you may thing, and that this versatile product is being utilized in many ways to supplement other retirement funding tools.”
The efforts are sponsored by lenders including American Advisors Group, Generation Mortgage Company, Liberty Home Equity Solutions, One Reverse Mortgage, Reverse Mortgage Solutions/Security One Lending and Urban Financial of America. The campaign will not produce leads, rather is aimed at public awareness, perception and rebranding.
Written by Elizabeth Ecker