Awards case study: Aviva Investors harnesses high impact creative to deliver customer insight campaign

Find out how Aviva Investors and Gravity Global increased sales by 29% through a fully integrated campaign harnessing customer insight and high-impact creative


The Aviva Investors multi-strategy target income campaign harnessed customer insight, competitor analysis, intelligent media planning and high-impact creative to deliver a fully integrated campaign that provided an answer to a conundrum facing today’s investor: how to ensure they have the level of income needed to see them all the way through retirement in the persistently volatile, low-growth, low-interest rate environment in which we continue to find ourselves? The results exceeded expectations. Advertising effectiveness, impact and recall scores, engagement levels and bottom line sales all demonstrate exceptional performance for a new category fund with <1 year track record.


Aviva Investors is the global investment arm of one of the UK’s biggest general insurers, Aviva plc, which can trace its origins in the London insurance market back more than 300 years. Aviva plc is listed on the London and New York stock exchanges. Aviva Investors has expertise in multiple categories, including real estate, fixed income, equity, multi-asset and alternative investments. It is dedicated to building and providing focused investment solutions for its clients, for whom it currently invests £290bn (as of 31 Dec 2015) on their behalf. Those clients include banks and other global financial institutions, private wealth managers, financial advisers, pension schemes and private investors. This is delivered by around 1000 employees in 15 countries.


Today’s investor faces an unprecedented level of personal responsibility in planning for their financial future. Ensuring they have the income to see them all the way through their retirement is one of a number of key challenges, particularly in light of the persistently volatile, low growth, low interest rate environment in which we continue to find ourselves. The role of the intermediary in guiding investors towards the right outcomes has never been more important. Aviva Investors had an answer to the income conundrum facing advisers and their clients.

Gravity Global was hired to design The Aviva Investors Multi-Strategy (AIMS) Target Income Fund, an initiative to provide the sustainable, regular income investors craved. However, it was a new fund, just over a year old. The challenge was to cut through the noise of other asset managers ‘flogging’ income funds rather than truly offering a solution that meets a specific income objective. But at the time of launch, there was already a lot of income chatter going on in the industry, the chosen marketing channels had to achieve cut-through.


1. To continue to establish Aviva Investors as a global leader in outcome-oriented solutions – its overall long term brand ambition.

2. To create awareness and generate sales of the AIMS Target Income Fund.

3. To create a campaign that has a distinct enough voice to punch through the increased ‘income chatter’ that was prevalent during the time of launch. A diverse selection of media channels (alongside strong creative) was key to delivering this. And, as part of the ongoing brand objectives, perceptions needed to be changed and awareness and understanding of Aviva Investors increased.

Target audience

The campaign was aimed at a notoriously challenging audience – financial intermediaries. These individuals advise their clients on their personal and business wealth – sometimes running into many millions. They are generally very sophisticated and insist they are not influenced by marketing. This is understandable, as they need to remain impartial when advising on how and where their clients’ money should be invested. They also (generally) feel that they know the providers in the market – they spend a vast portion of their day researching, meeting and analysing asset management companies and their products, so their perceptions of those companies are often ‘set’ before they are exposed to any marketing messages. It’s difficult to challenge these perceptions.

The main insight is that intermediaries welcome support from asset management companies that demonstrates an understanding of their own customers (the end investors) and can help them do their job better. But in addition, the audience needed to understand this income fund was not ‘just another’ income fund – a difficult challenge when you consider the amount of fund advertising they are faced with on a daily basis.


Discovery (June ‘15)

Conducting income-based research allowed Aviva Investors to develop deep insight and understanding into how advisers (and their clients) use and require income for a well-rounded portfolio that meets specific objectives.

Development (June/July ‘15)

Development of the unique idea that expressed the insight taken from the research and was applied across all communications and client touchpoints.

Activation (October - December ‘15)

The campaign was launched across a range of media channels, supported by a comprehensive PR programme.

Reporting (December ‘15)

Advertising analysis, fund sales reporting and brand scores.


External sales for the AIMS Target Income Fund (AIMSTIF) increased by 29% from October ’15 – November ‘15 (highly unusual for a new category fund with <1 year track record). Industry research revealed AIMSTIF trade press advertising secured top place for both spontaneous and prompted impact ad recall.

"Intelligent media buying and distinctive creative featuring integrated content created a powerful combination which drove impact and engagement across multiple touch points." Kelly Mikhailoff, senior brand and propositions manager, Aviva investors.