Deutsch Linking Colin Mochrie With SunAmerica

The word retirement isn’t likely to bring to mind Colin Mochrie of Whose Line Is It Anyway? But Sun America has chosen the actor and comedian to be the physical embodiment of a retirement plan.

Three new TV ads from Deutsch/LA are intended to remind investors 45-65 of the need for a retirement plan. Campaign spending was undisclosed; the Los Angeles-based financial services company spends more than $20 million a year on advertising.

Mochrie is silent in all three spots, and wears a T-shirt labeled “Retirement.” He represents a plan that’s ignored, put in jeopardy and underachieves—as he has an ele vator door shut in his face, climbs onto a high ledge to feed pigeons and has a dog lick dishes clean.

“People are seeing their investments and 401(k)s go down, and we felt we had to have ads asking: ‘How safe are your retirement plans, have they been neglected, and are they really working?’ ” said Jana Waring Greer, president of Sun America Retirement Markets and chief marketing officer of SunAmerica.

This is a departure from previous campaigns, which juxtaposed the cost of luxury goods with what they would cost in retirement savings. Those ads asked: “How are you spending your retirement?”

Mochrie’s character was created to bring an immediacy to retirement, Waring Greer said. The actor was chosen for his approachable personality. “He’s obviously tremendously talented, he’s watched by millions of people, and we felt he had a memorable face,” Waring Greer said.

The spots keep the tagline “Sun America. The retirement specialist,” which has been used since 1997.

Initiative Media handled the media buy. The ads, which will also run in 15-second versions, broke last week on NBC and will run on national cable networks including CNN, CNBC and A&E.