The Shorty Awards honor the best of social media and digital. View this season's finalists!

Special Project

Special Project
From the 11th Annual Shorty Awards

Life Insurance 101

Entered in Short Form Video

About this entry

For nearly 175 years, people have worked with New York Life Insurance to protect their families and futures. We believe in the importance of human guidance and in trusted relationships built on being there when our customers need us most.

New York Life wants to help you "Be Good At Life," by helping you manage your finances, so you're free to focus on what's really important. But we also recognize that life itself doesn't fit into any one plan. So we've been encouraging consumers to let us help them "start a plan that flexes with yours" since March of 2018.

We're currently fighting an uphill battle: trust in institutions – especially financial ones – is at an all-time low. Half of adults surveyed in LIMRA's 2017 Barometer Study say they don't trust insurance companies or agents. And it's hard to trust what you don't understand: 65% of adults said they haven't bought life insurance because they don't know what to buy.

But the Millennial and Gen X generations over-indexed when it came to very real financial concerns they still needed a solve for (i.e. leaving dependents in financial difficulty, burdening others with funeral expenses, or leaving an inheritance), for which life insurance could help.

If we say we exist to help people feel confident and capable of managing their finances, we need to begin by helping people understand what we do and why we do it.

Why does this entry deserve to win?

So we asked ourselves: what if we created a social media campaign that explained our products and processes so simply that anyone could understand it? Enter the "Life Insurance 101" campaign.


A series of :10 videos running via paid media on Facebook & Instagram, our short-form videos represented a simplified glossary spelling out what more intimidating and confusing terms related to life insurance mean, the way a friend would.

(Please click the links on the right hand side of this entry to view the videos on our Facebook page.)


The videos start with long copy scrolling, as if someone is thumbing through a long webpage or document on a mobile device. Then the copy stops with our branded element – a highlight – animating the specific keyword. The rest of the jargon fades away, being replaced with a simpler definition sliding down beneath the highlighted word.

The videos were optimized to be "thumb-stopping" in a quick-scroll social feed environment, without sound for maximum message retention and include New York Life branding (the highlight, logo and hashtag), to create higher brand recall and awareness.


We were primarily trying to reach individuals who were most likely to be interested in beginning the process to obtain life insurance: those new to the market thanks to a life-stage change, may not be as aware of New York Life or our products, and would be more receptive to educational messaging.

We also utilized engagement retargeting to serve content to users who have previously expressed an interest in New York Life by visiting our website and remind them to continue their purchasing journey with us.


All ad units sent traffic to a dedicated landing page on our website ( that offered additional "101" learning opportunities, including a CTA to contact a New York Life agent for help getting started.


Our key performance indicators were CTR for our ad unit, ad recall as measured by our Facebook Brand Lift study, and bounce rate for After running our paid media buy, we saw a +11pt lift in ad recall, and 92.5% lift in visits to We surpassed our own internal benchmarks compared to previous social campaigns, with users being sent to the Life Insurance 101 landing page bouncing less (1.12x lower), spending more time on site (+1:07) and starting & completing more leads than users sent directly to a product page on

Working in a heavily regulated industry that has a history of confusion – and more recently, mistrust – presents a strong messaging challenge. By taking a new, simple approach to educate, be approachable, and be memorable has paid off for us.


Entrant Company / Organization Name

New York Life Insurance


Entry Credits