As Kenneth Hein mentioned over on BrandFreak, sports fans sit through the same commercials over and over at this time of year. During the baseball playoffs, the new "Cursor" ads for John Hancock, by Boston's Hill Holliday, are among those playing on a loop. The spots, which show people texting and instant messaging each other about their financial situations, are meant to have the same quiet, unassuming vibe as the agency's classic "Real life. Real answers" work for the client back in the '80s. On its Web site, John Hancock says the new campaign "captures the truth and realness of our advertising legacy in a contemporary manner." Maybe it's a bit too contemporary. The format allows for plenty of peace and quiet. But showing life's big conversations happening over text and IM doesn't seem true to life for these characters (except maybe for the sister in the airport), and makes them seem distant from their families—a far cry from the emotional impact of John Hancock's classic Bill Heater/Jenny Katherine spot, one of the best commercials ever made about family and money.
—Posted by Tim Nudd