Sun Life Picks Martin Agency

NEW YORK Sun Life Financial’s U.S. unit tapped The Martin Agency to create its first national marketing campaign, which will launch in the fourth quarter.

The Interpublic Group agency in Richmond, Va., won the business after a three-month review involving undisclosed contenders. There was no incumbent agency. The marketer declined to disclose its budget, but in 2008, Sun Life spent $2 million in measured media, per Nielsen, and from January through May 2009 it spent $1 million. Those amounts do not include direct marketing or digital media.

The Canadian provider of annuities, life insurance and group employee benefits said in a statement that it has made a “significant investment in marketing and branding in the U.S. this year.” That includes the hiring of Priscilla Brown, previously CMO at Lincoln Financial Group, as the company’s first head of U.S. marketing. In the upcoming branding effort, Sun Life will use corporate sponsorships, broadcast, print and online outreach.
“Sun Life is well known in its native Canada, but in the U.S. we need to dramatically increase our presence to financial advisors and consumers,” Brown said in a statement. “Expanding our marketing team and media outreach is the first step toward making Sun Life a leading brand in the United States.”
Over the past month, Brown has added marketing executives from Fidelity Investments, Met Life and State Street Corp. to her team. This week Sun Life’s U.S. division also announced its sponsorship of Cirque du Soleil properties like U.S. Big Top Touring Shows and U.S. Arena Touring Shows.
As of June 30, 2009, the Sun Life Financial group of companies managed total assets of $342 billion.