Disability inclusion integral to Voya Financial’s advertising
2021 campaign extends Voya’s ongoing commitment and a timely conversation for Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month
Voya’s brand advertising programs have consistently promoted diversity, equity and inclusion, reflecting the company’s customers and aligning with its company values. The company’s 2021 ads build on this foundation, introducing its first actor with disabilities as well as a caregiver.

Voya’s commercials this year feature relatable scenarios of people moving forward through life events with confidence, balancing living today with preparing for the future.

“This year’s campaign structure provided an ideal opportunity to share the story of a family with special needs,” said Jim Cowsert, VP, Enterprise Brand, Advertising and Media. “The spot, ‘Growing Up,’ features a child with special needs and his parents as they celebrate key life events together, including a track meet, high school graduation and a first job. The ad addresses the customized solutions they require to stay on track toward their financial futures.”

Its companion spot, “Becoming Grandpa,” references the father of a multi-generational Latinx family taking financial planning steps throughout his life, while enjoying key family milestones, including a child’s wedding, a newborn grandchild and spending retirement time with family at a lake.

While 2021 represents the first caregiver and actor with a disability appearing in a Voya commercial, previous Voya advertising programs have promoted the company’s commitment to people with disabilities and special needs as well as their caregivers. Notably, its 2017 “Invest in Something Special” advertising campaign raised awareness of Special Olympians dreams beyond sports, donated over $520,000 to Special Olympics and was named an ESPN Humanitarian Award finalist.

Voya was also recognized with a Disability:IN Marketplace Innovator Award* for its program fulfilling Invest in Something Special participant Lily Allison’s dream to meet musician Mandy Harvey, her hero who shares the same rare disability. In 2020, Voya’s campaign promoting a series of Mandy Harvey virtual concerts and Lily’s anti-bullying book was named one of Adweek’s “10 of the Most Accessible Brand Campaigns and Actions of 2020.” All of these programs have connected people to the company’s Voya Cares® initiative and its authentic 360-degree support of this community.

Voya has ensured that its commercials reflect the broad diversity of the country in support of the company’s vision to be America’s Retirement Company® for all Americans. Previous Voya ads have included Black, African American, Latinx, Asian, white and multi-ethnic actors.

Beyond representation in ads, Voya rigorously tests its advertising in advance of production to ensure that messaging is effective across gender and ethnicity. Voya also extends its focus on diversity in areas beyond actors: collaborating with a 100% female-staffed research agency, tapping into diverse creative teams and enlisting female and multi-ethnic directors for production.

*The Disability:IN Inclusion Awards’ “Marketplace Innovator of the Year” recognizes an external marketing or communications campaign that includes powerful and positive images of disability. Award recipients are selected by a committee. A company must be a corporate partner of Disability:IN to be considered for this award. Voya is an Inclusion Works member of Disability:IN and Voya’s Paul J. Gennaro, chief brand and communications officer, serves on Disability:IN’s board of directors.