The Hartford Financial Services Group is making an effort to help employers de-stress. As the finale of a three-part direct mail campaign, the group benefits carrier recently sent stress balls to leaders at nearly 2,000 large companies. Each executive received a hand-sized, squeezable ball printed with the Web address for The Hartford Experience (

The Hartford's stress-less campaign kicked off in November 2009 with a communication to key benefits brokers, giving them insight into the site and a heads-up that the campaign would drive sales leads in their direction. The direct mailings to more than 6,500 human resource and finance leaders at companies with more than 5,000 workers were delivered in mid-November.

When employers visit The Hartford Experience they are greeted by a burgundy ball that bounces across the computer screen during the site's introduction as a voiceover narrator asks, "Are you stressed?" On screen, a guide picks up the ball and acknowledges the pressures on business owners today and explains how to navigate the site to find out how The Hartford can help protect their businesses and employees without red tape or red ink.

"We created The Hartford Experience based on the needs of today's employers." Laura Marzi, assistant VP of marketing for The Hartford's group benefits division. "We then created a site that uses sophisticated digital effects and simple narration to tell how we're bearing the strain of benefits administration for them."

The video-based narrator guides visitors through the site, which contains an Insights & Expertise section. It features white papers and articles on research on workplace topics, including The Hartford's study on Employee Assistance Programs, The Hartford's Time-off Survey and the Workplace Warrior Think Tank. This section also includes profiles about The Hartford's experts in claims, leave management, service and products.



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