Like many well-established brands today, AAA was at a loss as to how to identify with Millennials. While car insurers and manufacturers now offer some of the same benefits, AAA still provides some legitimately awesome value for anyone on the road today, Millennials included. So this “nostalgic” brand needed a modern way to communicate their purpose to this new audience in the early, exploratory stages of their lives.
AAA is just not a priority for me and I think my insurance offers the same thing.” Taylor, 23
Since AAA needed to approach Millennials in a relevant but believable way, we gave special consideration to the unique interests and media consumption behaviors of that demographic. Traditional tactics used for older generations of AAA members such as direct mail and radio ads aren’t exactly what the “kids” are into these days.
While it would be tempting to follow the latest trend or meme to try to reach these twentysomethings,* our approach was a little simpler—talk to them like they’re people because, as it turns out, they are.
*and thirtysomethings; they’re older than you think they are
Our research on Millennials consistently shows that this generation isn’t as spoiled rotten or entitled as the media often portrays them to be. Instead, they work hard, value input from their family and friends, and crave emotional connections to milestones and life events—just like every generation before them. And (again, like everyone else) Millennials value adventure.
So we tapped that classic American rite of passage—the road trip—to authentically connect AAA with this young audience. Why? Because AAA has been bringing freedom and peace of mind to American drivers on the open road for over a hundred years.
“I was in awe of the footage. We are super excited to be working with you guys. We can’t wait to think about what’s next and where you take this story.”
We took our own road trip in the Midwest with a group of real Millennials—we purposefully didn’t recruit actors. For two days, we authentically documented their road trip experience, from hiking in national forests to stopping at unique roadside attractions to hanging out at a campfire under the stars. We juxtaposed these scenes with voiceover of our main character’s grandfather reflecting on his own road trip adventure as a young adult, which allowed the piece to become cross-generational. Hey, older people love adventure too.
The humanizing and adventurous tagline, Take Your Own Road, celebrates the exploration that makes life…. well, life—demonstrating how AAA will be there with you for every smile, mile, and memory.
We published the video content across targeted digital platforms, including several native placements involving travel and adventure. In its first month, the campaign enjoyed booming engagement rates (measured by video completion) of 28% versus a benchmark of 10-15%.
This video is the first in a series dedicated to the stories, meaning, and importance of exploring the open road, and we can’t wait for the next big adventure.
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