Principal Financial Squares Off With New Creative Approach

The Principal Financial Group is back as an Olympics advertiser for its fifth consecutive games, but this time it’s bringing along a new creative approach.
Two 30-second TV spots from Brown Marketing Communications here introduce a new tagline for the Des Moines, Iowa-based financial services company: “Plan ahead. Get ahead.” For several years, Principal’s advertising had focused on its triangular corporate logo, with, for example, acrobats assembling themselves in that shape. The themeline was “The Principal edge.”
The triangle motif will continue as a creative theme in print advertising, but the new TV spots take a more straightforward, informational approach, stressing the need for consumers to plan their finances.
“The triangle focus is powerful as an object for building awareness and for branding, and we’ve built a lot of equity in that approach,” said Dennis Schrage, Brown president and senior creative director. “But now it’s time for the advertising to go another step deeper and define planning as a brand in consumer terms.”
Principal spent $20 million on advertising during the first 10 months of 1997, according to Competitive Media Reporting.