ReliaStar Goes for the Laughter




Mock Sadistic Spots From CCF Aim to Build the Name Nationally
CHICAGO–ReliaStar Financial Services is looking to carve out a sharper national identity through a new campaign from Clarity Coverdale Fury.
The Minneapolis agency’s work breaks Feb. 14. It takes a humorous approach to highlight the performance aspects of Reliastar’s investment options.
“It all comes down to name recognition,” said agency creative director Jac Coverdale. “It’s a noisy and expansive category, and nobody has a real position.”
Two 30-second TV spots feature a brother and sister in their early 40s trying to get their hands on their mother’s substantial ReliaStar portfolio. In one spot, the siblings release a pit bull into their mother’s living room as a birthday present. In the other, they leave the old woman in a seedy neighborhood. In both, the mother’s sweet charms rescue her from the predicaments.
The spots include a voiceover that says, “Warning: With help from ReliaStar, you could build quite an enviable portfolio.”
“For ReliaStar to get noticed nationally, they have to really stand out from the traditional lofty or warm/fuzzy approach used by most larger insurance and investment companies,” Coverdale said.
The ads are a departure from CCF’s earlier work for the Minneapolis-based financial services company. The previous campaign used offbeat characters in an attempt to show the investment and insurance world can be easily understood.
That campaign aired briefly last year on national cable. The new ads are the first created solely for national use, Coverdale said, and will air on seven cable networks, including CNN, CNBC and The Weather Channel.
Bruce Behounek, ReliaStar’s director of advertising, said the campaign’s “more dramatic” approach is a better way to build name recognition nationally.
ReliaStar spent just over $5 million on advertising through the first nine months of 1999, according to Competitive Media Reporting. Coverdale said that amount is likely to increase.