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Marketing to the Mainstream

“Risk and you shall receive.” These words are from an advertisement on the train on my way to work this morning. Other famous lines were similarly altered — “I risk therefore I am,” was another. I was especially intrigued by, “When you risk upon a star.” When I got to the office, I went to the provided URL, FindtheUpside.com. It turned out to be a site devoted to Marsh, the (as the site says) “world’s leading insurance broker and strategic risk advisor.”

Apparently risk assessment has become mainstream enough to warrant plastering an entire side of a train. I am sure the hipsters, blue-collar workers, and businessmen heading into Manhattan need a dose of risk quantification and prioritization. Or was this marketing campaign inappropriate for the diverse masses taking public transit? I can’t see the effectiveness of throwing eye-catching phrases to train-riders in hopes one of the people who venture to the site works for a company that could use a risk advisor and said person is in a position to hire one.

Then again, maybe it is a successful bit of marketing — I am talking about it, after all. What do you think? Is Marsh’s new campaign a brilliant way to broaden its customer base? Or a misguided decision to appeal to the general public who don’t really need advising on risk?KO