Steve Sweitzer

Conseco TV: Blackout

Steve Sweitzer
Conseco TV: Blackout

While CD at Fallon/NY, we worked on a campaign for Conseco, an investment and insurance firm based in Carmel, Indiana. The TV campaign was part of a larger initiative to stop Conseco stock from sliding into bankruptcy. Ultimately, no amount of marketing could help the failing company. Measured by assets, Conseco's bankruptcy would be the third largest in corporate history, trailing only WorldCom and Enron.

On the day we presented this work, I was at Conseco headquarters finalizing the presentation in an enormous conference room before the rest of my team and the clients arrived. Suddenly, the door opened and the CEO walked in. He came over, shook my hand and apologized for arriving early.

Then, looking over at my backpack along the wall asked,

"Is that your backpack?"

"Yes", I replied, puzzled.

"I have one just like it. It reminds me of being on vacation with my wife. I wish I was there now."

Later, I discovered that right after our presentation, he was crucified at a press conference with CNN, Bloomberg, The New York Times, and others concerning the future of Conseco.

In the end, the only good news was that the TV campaign went on to win big at the Cannes Film Festival. Kudos to Ellen Steinberg and William Gelner.