Freedom 55 goes to Africa

Financial planning is about putting yourself in a position to realize your dreams throughout your life, not just when you retire. This was the message Toronto agency Bright Red Communications was charged with delivering for London, Ont.-based Freedom 55 Financial.

Financial planning is about putting yourself in a position to realize your dreams throughout your life, not just when you retire. This was the message Toronto agency Bright Red Communications was charged with delivering for London, Ont.-based Freedom 55 Financial.

Titled ‘Africa,’ the 30-second spot features a couple that appears to be on safari. But when the woman’s reverie suddenly breaks, it turns out they’re in their car at a supermarket lot.

‘[The company] really wants to talk about how important dreams are to achieving your financial goals,’ says Bright Red’s CD Brian Hickling.

The spot, which broke Sept. 15, targets 35- to 45-year-olds. As such it was important to avoid turning people off by making the mistake of suggesting financial planning has something to do with being old. Vacations – or whatever your ‘dream’ is – require planning, too. The spot is the third in a series; the other two, ‘House’ and ‘College,’ were created by Goodgoll Curtis and focus on other important life stages.

Leslie McCallum, president and CEO at Bright Red, says they also had to be careful to stay away from associating Freedom 55 Financial with its previous incarnation. ‘Freedom 55 way back when was all about insurance and retirement. Freedom 55 Financial, which is where they are now, is all about this [current] stage of the consumer’s life.’

The work is perhaps most notable for the fact that it incorporated a novel research approach. Bright Red teamed up with Toronto-based Hotspex, an Internet-based research firm, to get consumer feedback on the creative before anything was done. McCallum says Bright Red used the info ‘as a way to actually guide the creative development process as opposed to as a disaster check at the other end.’

Hotspex was able to create customized questionnaires that were delivered to respondents via the Web on a national scale. McCallum says the sample size was ‘huge’ and they were able to garner ‘rich quantitative data.’

For instance, the research suggested Canadians were more concerned about their financial security than ever and that they were prepared to trust a financial planner to help them.

The spot will run for four weeks nationally (a different version of the spot is airing in Quebec).

Client: Freedom 55 Financial

Agency: Bright Red Communications

Creative Director/Art Director: Brian Hickling

Copywriter: Ian Kiar

Account Service: Leslie McCallum and Anja Bundze

Producer: Sharon Kosokowsky

Director/DOP: Robert Maya

Production Company: Mad Films

Editor: David Hicks/School

Music: Rosnick MacKinnon Webster