LTC Bullet:  All Hail 3in4's Big Apple Promotion

Friday, May 27, 2011

Seattle--

LTC Comment:  Who needs "Got Milk" when you've got "dancing grannies" and top billing in Times Square?  Story, video and pictures follow.

 

LTC BULLET:  ALL HAIL 3IN4'S BIG APPLE PROMOTION

LTC Comment:  Special thanks to LTCI author, speaker, consultant and agent Marilee Driscoll for the following account.  While you're at it, check out videos and pictures of the event here, here, here, here, here, and here.  What a splash!

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"Much Ado About LTC Planning:  3in4 Hits Times Square"
by
Marilee Driscoll

If they can make it there, they can make it anywhere!

The 3in4 nonprofit foundation kicked off its "Get Your Life Back" $50,000 Caregiver Contest and a cross-country tour featuring Dr. Marion Tuesday morning, May 24, 2011.

Early the morning of the event, foundation volunteers were interviewed by both NBC and Fox.  NBC produced a feed for its affiliates across the country, and Fox covered the group on its Fox and Friends show.  Agents, representatives of the 3in4 foundation and other interested parties congregated in Times Square New York to witness the event.  Many have dubbed the 3in4 effort the LTCI industry's equivalent of the famous "Got Milk" campaign. 

One of the main reasons that the group was able to get media coverage was the visuals.  Association spokesperson Dr. Marion stood beside her souped-up Greyhound bus, which was festooned with tour sponsors and the 3in4 logo.  At about 9:30 a.m., a quartet from The Julliard School played waltz music, attracting a group of 'elderly' people.  But wait.  These were actually "dancers who had gotten dressed up as older folks, and mingled in the crowd," reported Kevin Johnson (National/NY Long Term Care Brokers, and 3in4 assoc. advisory board member).  The stage was set for the flash mob orchestrated by 3in4.

As the classical music faded and was replaced by fast-paced contemporary music, the 'elderly' dancers tore off their wigs, throwing aside walkers, canes, and conservative clothing, revealing 3 in 4 tee shirts.  No longer waltzing, they encouraged onlookers to join them in an exuberant dance.  Agent Sally Leimbach (FranklinMorris, and a member of the Maryland NAIFA Hall of Fame who currently serves on the national NAHU LTC committee) said, "A decent crowd of people stopped to ask what was happening.  Some passersby joined the dancing.  I ended up doing the bump with a very diminutive woman.  We danced until we were ready to drop - for about 20 minutes!"  Although the dancers included both men and women, they have been dubbed "the dancing grannies."  Sally commented, "We had 3 real dancing grandmothers at the event:  Dr. Marion, Margie Barrie (SMA LTCI columnist/trainer, VP of the 3in4 Association) and myself!"

Once the dancing subsided, it was time for the announcements.  A podium had been set up against the background of a 10-story high "Mama Mia" lighted sign.  Mark Goldberg (ACSIA, Treasurer of the 3in4 Association) was the emcee, and handed over the microphone to Jonas Roeser (LTCFP, President of the 3in4 Association).  Dr. Marion talked about the importance of LTC planning, and explained about the Association's new contest, featuring a $50,000 prize.  Several agents had driven long distances to attend, and they stepped up to the podium to share their LTC experiences.

"The weather was very humid, very warm," said Abe Gruenwald (NY-based personal-producing general agent affiliated with Gelbwaks Executive Management).  "There were representatives from Prudential and MedAmerica there.  All presenters encouraged people to check out the 3in4 website (www.3in4needmore.com), and to do long term care planning.  The overall message of the event in Times Square, and of the 3in4 campaign is that it's important for Americans to get informed and educated and not to wait for a crisis event to do so."

All of the happenings were documented by a still photographer and videographer.  Agents helped hand out t-shirts, Frisbees, luggage IDs, all branded with the 3in4 logo, to people in Times Square.

The date of the event was largely determined by a generous donation by one of the 3in4 association's major sponsors.  Prudential Insurance dedicated their lighted sign, perched high overlooking Times Square.  For several hours on Tuesday passersby were treated to the static image of the campaign's 3in4 colorful logo.  Now, the logo will continue in play, in rotation with other advertisers who share the prime ad real estate.

Perhaps the event was best-summed up by Sally Leimbach, "It was all over far too quick.   It really was quite good.  Full of energy.  I came home from NY completely energized.  Over the years, like many LTCI specialists, I often felt that I worked in a vacuum trying to educate people on LTCI."  Sally continued, her voice welling with emotion, "I now feel that I am not alone, and this was a profound revelation to me.  I want to compliment the leadership of the nonprofit.  They have worked long and hard.  The product that I have seen is professional and first class, the campaign is on the right level with the right message.  However, I am disappointed that not every company that provides a LTCI product has stepped up to support the campaign, and I am hopeful that, given the quality of the effort of this first occasion, that they will quickly come to the fore."

Marilee Driscoll has 20+ years of experience in the LTCi business as consultant to national distributors, founder of the Driscoll Drip LTCI referral marketing program, professional speaker, and licensed agent. She writes Agent Sales Journal's monthly "12 Questions for One Successful LTCi Agent" column, is author of "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Long Term Care Planning," and is a weekly syndicated columnist for Gatehouse Media.  Reach her at md@MarileeDriscoll.com, tele. 508-830-9975.