Now pitching for Voya: Allison ‘Mom’ Janney

In one of the commercials already on the air, an acorn-saving origami squirrel, fashioned from U.S. currency, teaches Ms. Janney about the importance of planning for retirement. The squirrel is Voya's new 'spokes-metaphor.'

Voya Financial, the New York-based retirement, investment and insurance firm—the U.S. arm of ING Group until 2013—has recruited celebrities Allison Janney, of “West Wing” and “Mom” fame, and Jesse Tyler Ferguson of “Modern Family” to deliver its message in TV spots.

“The whole goal is to get Voya talked about. We wanted to tap into America’s love of celebrities to draw interest to the brand,” said Voya chief marketing officer Ann Glover in a release this week. The company said it is spendng $100 million on branding in the U.S.

Beginning Jan. 4, Voya began airing a series of spots featuring the actors interacting with orange origami animals. In one commercial, an acorn-saving squirrel, Voya’s “spokes-metaphor,” teaches Ms. Janney about the importance of planning for retirement.

The new spots, which will be supplemented by online videos, will air throughout 2016 on a range of networks. BBDO Atlanta worked on the campaign. The Mill worked on animation and effects.

The new orange animals in the current campaign are actually folded up bills. They represent the money consumers should be saving, versus the green money they are spending.

The introductory effort first began last year when Voya aired a campaign featuring a giant butterfly undergoing metamorphosis, meant to signal Voya’s transition from ING.

Glover said that over half of those familiar with Voya as a brand are aware that the company provides retirement services, according to internal market research. For the third quarter ended Sept. 30, Voya reported revenue of $210 million, a 37% decline over the year-earlier period, and profit of $40.3 million.

In other news this week, Voya Financial, Inc., said it created the new position of Chief Digital Officer, to be filled by former GE Capital executive Joseph Miranda. He will lead the design, implementation and sustainability of improved digital customer experiences at Voya.

“He will work closely with Voya’s five segments—Retirement, Annuities, Investment Management, Individual Life and Employee Benefits—as well as marketing, operations, analytics and information technology leaders to accelerate the transformation of the digital experience for Voya customers,” a release said.  

Miranda joins Voya from GE Capital, where he held roles as vice president, global digital strategy and vice president, commercial excellence, marketing and technology.

At GE Capital, he directed the development and execution of the company’s global digital portfolio, aligning marketing, sales and IT to deliver end-to-end customer engagement initiatives and experiences, simplifying digital processes and driving customer acquisition and retention. Previously, Miranda was vice president, global digital marketing and vice president, channel development at Nielsen.

Miranda is based in Voya’s Windsor, Conn., office. He will report to Alain Karaoglan, Voya chief operating officer and chief executive officer, Retirement and Investment Solutions. He will also join the company’s Operating Committee, which is responsible for setting and leading Voya’s growth strategy.

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