Nationwide AVP lifts lid on social media and Zaya Campbell’s success
In the fast-paced world of TikTok marketing, going viral has become a coveted achievement, offering businesses, like insurance company Nationwide, the chance to reach massive audiences in a short space of time in a way traditional media can’t.
Some insurance companies have been quick to recognize the value of connecting with audiences through the platform, and recently, Nationwide has been able to leverage a piece of viral media into an attention-grabbing campaign.
Around September 2023, audio featuring a then five-year-old Zaya Campbell (Zaya, pictured above, is now 11) singing Nationwide’s “On Your Side” jingle started circulating widely on TikTok. Campbell impressed viewers with her gospel singer-like vibrato, something she likely inherited from her mother Erica, a contemporary gospel artist.
Music has been the cornerstone of Nationwide’s branding – and now, its success on TikTok, according to Kristi Daraban (pictured below), AVP of marketing and head of social media at Nationwide.
“We have been rooted in our jingle for many, many years, and it’s something that is iconic to our brands,” said Daraban. “TikTok being a natural place where music plays such a big component, we were really excited when we saw that the video of Zaya Campbell was posted with her mother, Erica.”
Nationwide’s iconic jingle inspires viral Tiktok audio
Not long after Zaya’s vocals gained traction on TikTok, Nationwide reached out to her family to collaborate on more content. She later recorded another video that included her original audio.
Image courtesy: Erica Campbell on Instagram
“We wanted to see if we could get them to do a video for us, to help support the virality and keep the momentum going,” said Daraban. “They were very wonderful to work with, and we thought maybe it would last a week or so, and it has gone on weeks and months later.”
But the trend evolved, with TikTok users posting their own versions inspired by Zaya, which inspired Nationwide to expand on the opportunity and strengthen its branding.
In partnership with Zaya’s family, the Nationwide social media team launched a TikTok challenge to benefit high school music programs. In December, five schools were awarded $5,000 based on the number of likes they received on the platform. The initial contest video gained almost 4 million views, according to Daraban.
“We pulled in our influencers and partners to help fuel the fire. As a brand, we didn’t get in the way. We didn’t put any roadblocks or guidelines. Instead, we celebrated the videos we liked,” the social media head said.
“We ended up reaching out to a lot of creators. We wanted to foster it, so we tried to do everything in our power to keep that momentum in a positive way, and we saw good reciprocation.”
The other key was grounding the content back to Nationwide’s philanthropy.
“We wanted to root in and nurture the musical abilities of the TikTok community, but specifically tie back to our business by supporting education,” said Daraban.
“We have historically done other initiatives featuring education, so we naturally thought what a great way to give back. We took it in the direction we thought would enhance our brand most, and it has done well for us.”
Nationwide launched its TikTok in 2022 to engage and educate younger audiences in insurance.
According to Daraban, it took their team a year and a half to craft a unique strategy for creating content for the platform.
“This is not a cut and paste of other things we were doing, so we had to be purposeful and mindful of how we want to approach TikTok,” she said.
“We started off using influencers and have crafted a great strategy of incorporating music, education, information, and tips, highlighting some trends but also being rooted in the jingle, which I think is one of the reasons this has paid off so well and naturally for us.”
The viral stunt with Zaya has boosted Nationwide’s reach on all its platforms. For Daraban, attention on TikTok is a huge win that other insurance companies can leverage if they’re strategic about creating value for viewers.
“I’ve always thought that if you’re going to be on any platform, you must be adding value, whether it is entertainment, value, or education,” she said. “But you have to match the tone and style of the platform, which is something we’ve embraced.”
What are your thoughts the viral Nationwide jingle and TikTok competition? Tell us in the comments.
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