For USAA, which serves the military community, their families and spouses, integrating the principles of the #SeeHer movement for more accurate portrayals of girls and women in advertising and media has been “a key pillar of success.”
And while ad campaigns for the armed forces have typically had a decidedly male skew, USAA actually found it easy to take a closer look at females because it’s always focused on authenticity, says the company’s AVP of Integrated Marketing, Kristen Conyers.
“We know from our research that women are often the CFO’s of the household and so that makes them a very important audience for us.”
USAA, which stands for United Services Automobile Association, offers a wide array of services from banking to insurance, investments to retirement. It’s a niche community for the purposes of advertising messaging targeting active serving military members, veterans and their kin.
“When you think about targeting the military community, you often think of a more masculine type of brand. That’s actually not who our brand is at all,” says Conyers. “We have to appeal to both sides and one of core pillars of our creative strategy is to be very authentic in the way that we portray our members.”
USAA uses members in its campaigns “to tell their real life story to help sell us.”
The Association of National Advertisers launched #SeeHer in the summer of 2016 to encourage a more accurately portrayal of all girls and women in media. It uses the data-tracking GEM to identify best-in-class advertising and programming that supports girls and women.
“It actually happened a little bit easier than you might think,” Conyers says of USAA’s embrace of #SeeHer. “When your creative strategy is based off of authenticity in the first place, it’s pretty easy to authentically represent women.”
The challenge was to “pivot a little bit for the story that we tell to be sure that we’re capturing the full story of females, not just one component of them of being a military spouse but really leaning into who they are as a whole person.”
A recent USAA campaign targeted active military women to “tell that side of their story. Very career-minded female as well as the stay-at-home spouse. Who’s also very career minded, just in a different field.”