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January 27, 2015

Securian's digital characters explain insurance

Ellie and Bert use humor and everyday language in off-beat, up-beat online experience

ST. PAUL, Minn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Ellie is a chipper, helpful woman whose brother-in-law Bert left his “cushy” insurance job to follow his dream to become a singer. Ellie says Bert is going to help her explain group critical illness (CI) insurance. In song.

This scenario greets employees who log into the digital description of group critical illness coverage, a voluntary benefit from Securian Financial Group. When diagnosed with a condition covered in the policy, CI provides a lump-sum payment the insured can spend however he or she chooses.

Ellie and Bert use consumer-friendly language and slightly goofy songs to explain this and other group insurance products the company offers. Ellie asks a few questions that employees answer on-screen while Bert strums his guitar in the background. Then he strikes a blues-y chord and sings:

Group critical illness insurance
Is totally boss
It can help you out
With some of your costs

“Critical illness is a serious topic but describing how it works doesn’t have to be,” said Adam Taylor, manager, Client and Operations Technology. “We think humor leads to higher engagement and possibly higher participation – a good thing for employees and employers.”

Securian anticipates people will respond well to Ellie and Bert. In a recent independent study, 80 percent of those surveyed said they would use the program if it was available.

"We want to appeal to every age group and we’re using new media to reach all employees,” said Christian Betancourt, specialist, Digital Marketing. “If Ellie and Bert help people better understand the benefits of our products, they may be more likely to enroll.”

Following the conversation with Ellie, those who want more information go to an online calculator to get a personalized quote. (They also can get a personalized song from Bert delivered by email.) If they decide they want the coverage, they can go directly to the enrollment site.

Securian plans to ask Ellie and Bert to explain every new product it introduces.

“Bert knows insurance,” said Taylor. “Plus he’s a good guy and he needs the work.”

About Securian Financial Group

Since 1880, Securian Financial Group and its affiliates have provided financial security for individuals and businesses in the form of insurance, investments and retirement plans. Now one of the nation’s largest financial services providers, Securian is the holding company parent of a group of companies that offer a broad range of financial services.

Insurance products are issued by Minnesota Life Insurance Company or Securian Life Insurance Company, a New York authorized insurer. Both companies are headquartered in Saint Paul, MN. Product availability and features may vary by state. Each insurer is solely responsible for the financial obligations under the policies or contracts it issues.

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Contact Info

Jeff Bakken

Media Relations