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Mass Mutual - Vow to protect / Married lesbian & gay couples (2016) 4:00 (USA)

Mass Mutual, the life insurance, retirement plans, disability income insurance, long term care insurance and more company, shows us gay couples discussing their future in their most recent campaign. Created by Mullen and shot by Nonfiction Unlimited, who have a roster of documentary film directors onboard. The campaign interviews couples of varying ages, and some of the 60's are cuter than the 4 minute edit. Jeanne and Sheila tell of the surprise wedding party their beach community threw them, while William and Eddie claim both to be "Boring" and "Irish, Jewish and ticklish". Fess up, you're not boring. Meanwhile Michelle and Saudia are the ones who show us some of the reasons you'd be saving with Mass Mutual, as Michelle has MS and should anything happen to her, she wants her wife taken care of. This doesn't come out in the 4 minute edit, and while some find it a really emotional ad, it fails to move me. The couples are very cute and all, Billy & Payton and Julia & Em seem perfect matches, and the topic of gay marriage is fresh - but the single interviews do a better job of showing couples planning to care for each other. Which is what Mass Mutual sells.

Client: Mass Mutual
Ad agency: Mullen
Production co: Non Fiction Unlimited

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Anonymous Adgrunt's picture
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David Felton's picture

Imagine this with straight people. It's boring.

Putting a bunch of gay couples in your ad makes it no less boring.

Mullen messed up on this one, unless they're aggressively going out for the pink pound. And cut the 'emotional' tinkle-tinkle piano music. My heart is hard to this. I don't wanna support love, I wanna see how your product has relevance to my life. This is what happens when advertising thinks it has an important responsibility to be SEEN as socially progressive. Of course no one would have done this 5 years ago because cowardice.

Once again, advertising does not change society, it only ever reflects it. And we have a responsibility above all else to sell. This ad with gay couples, straight couples, any couples at all - is boring - and falls at the first hurdle.

Ogilvy said "We sell. Or else." Why can't people remember the basics? Instead we're churning out safe and pointless testimonials.

Dabitch's picture

You're right, it is boring. Four minutes of couples talking about themselves and none of them are Harry and Sally talking about coconut cake and chocolate sauce on the side, and even if they did we never had a one hour movie invested in the characters so... It's a feel-good exercise and not a hard sell, owning "Love" as a way to remind people that they should retirement plan, buy life insurance etc. I mean, that's a solid strategy for a life insurance company, it's just not the best execution I've seen.

Jorge Inchaurregui's picture

Wow. That was powerful. In this day and age, we {as in the ad industry} cannot come into people's homes and yell at them to buy something. We are intruding in something they want to watch or do. If we want them to give us a little of their attention, we need to give them something worth their attention.
Gay or straight couples, it doesn't really matter, it's people talking about love and what it means to them, but one cannot secure their future only on love, and Mass Mutual and Mullen are capitalizing on that powerful, powerful insight. Love is great, but this is the real world and couple need insurance, now gay couples have it.

David Felton's picture

Brands can't own love any more than coke owns happiness. Maybe what brands should do is... (crazy idea) stop trying to align themselves with wishy-washy feelings, and actually remind us why we need to buy them.

"Married couples often love each other" - wow, what a powerful, powerful insight that is.