Manulife brings drama to digital

The financial brand takes a more insights-driven approach to its new mortgage advertising.

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Manulife has taken a more insights-driven approach to its newest campaign, using consumer misconceptions about mortgages as the jumping off point for a digital push.

“Uncover the Mortgage Truth” for the financial brand’s Manulife One product features cinematic trailer-like creative centred on consumers discovering another side to the mortgage process.

In the past, Manulife has centred its advertising on product advantages, but this time it began with a consumer insight, says Leisha Roche, Manulife’s VP of brand and marketing. “Consumers believe that all mortgages are the same,” she says, noting that they typically think interest rates are the main point of differentiation. Manulife One, on the other hand, is positioned as a more flexible option that acts as an all-in-one mortgage, line of credit and bank account.

The brand is targeting younger consumers who are searching for mortgages or have come upon the renewal process. “We’re looking for those people who are maybe branching outside their current [financial] network,” she says. Those consumers, though, do already tend to be more interested in discovering alternatives, an opportunity for a challenger like Manulife, Roche says.

Mortgage advertising tends to all be quite similar and as a smaller player in that market, Manulife needed creative that would stand out, she says.

Manulife has also switched up its media mix for this campaign, eschewing its traditional TV and out-of-home buys for an exclusively digital campaign, targeted to mortgage searches and home-related content, such as real estate and renovation websites. That strategy is meant to have the brand offer a degree of utility, versus just brand awareness, Roche says.

Manulife worked with DentsuBos on creative and Mindshare on media.