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Aviva launches hard-hitting TV ad campaign for life insurance

Aviva is launching a national TV advertising campaign to promote awareness among families of the benefits of taking out life insurance.

The advert first airs this evening and the campaign will run for a month.

It features actor Paul Whitehouse who plays a father talking about his family’s financial security as they pack to go away on holiday.

The character mentions the cost of university being paid for his daughter, and his son’s swimming lessons.

The end of the advert reveals the father is no longer alive  but is simply watching life continue for his family.

The advert looks at family life in a ‘post-death’ situation, rather than from the traditional ‘what if this happens to you’ perspective.

The campaign dates back to consumer research carried out at the start of last year looking at the barriers to buying life assurance.

Consumers then had to come up with concepts that would encourage them to buy life cover. One of the key findings to come out of the research was that consumers said they had to be “emotionally disturbed” into taking action and buying cover.

Aviva would not disclose the cost of the campaign, but it is thought to be a six-figure sum.

The campaign will be supported by an IFA follow-up campaign.

Director of protection Richard Verdin says: “We may be criticised for this advert as we accept that we have gone further than other companies have gone traditionally. But we believe in what we have done because it is based on extensive consumer research.

“Consumers have assured us that this is the advert that they would take action on.”

To view the Aviva advert via You Tube, click here.


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There are 16 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. So – a modern variation on the old ‘Widows Story’ from Allied Dunbar/Abbey Life days?
    It will be interesting to see if it works…

  2. I expect we will see many more such adverts as product providers try to increase business especially via their online offerings. Aviva has an online offering where consumers can apply direct.

  3. Well done Aviva. May talk and few do. Good luck.

  4. Anyone got the plot yet?? Aviva like many others are using money and dominance in marketing, along with the direct Insurers (owned by banks) to sell retail Insurance direct to the public.
    AIM, to put small brokers and IFA’s out of business with the help of RDR and the FSA.
    Is it only the blind and deaf who cannot see or hear it, or is it being deliberately ignored???
    Now you have an ex director of Aviva heading up AIFA, wake up and smell the coffeee guys and gals.

  5. Good stuff.. Widows story.. name and address of yer Doctor and away you go.. anything that can get the story over to the masses has to be a good thing…

    Online/Direct products have always been there and whilst the Aviva/Others applications are currently XX pages, that, and for all the reasons that haven’t changed, a good IFA should be able to outmanoeuvre a direct offering with solid reasons as why they should be used……

    (Now where’s last Sunday’s News of the World….? If I get my application off for some life cover, they will give me a free alarm clock, an M&S voucher and a steak supper with Jordan…?

  6. It was my understanding that the FSA does not “allow us” to disturbe the client. I was trained that we cannot disturbe them into buying insurance under any circumstances. So why can AVIVA do somethig we cannot?

  7. Just seen the advert well done Aviva for highlighting this. Also noticed the or call a financial adviser wish some of my fellow industry collegues could take the positives out of this and use the oppertunity to increase business.

  8. Saw the advert last night was really impressed by the way Aviva tackled this. I would say the advert provokes thought and not disturbs and thats why they can do it. I was trained up on the widows story and that definatley disturbed. Also liked the or speak to a financial adviser at the end. No other company does this and many have direct deals in place

  9. Judith Desrosiers 18th January 2011 at 10:16 am

    Comments on Aviva twit stream,prove that the public in the majority,think AVIVA has gone too far, personally,after the horrendous treatment myself and family have got,I think its just another sick ploy to get your money,Aviva, dont do favours!!Quite the opposite, trust me

  10. I had a claim paid for my wife with Aviva a year ago. We where treated very well and the claim paid this has given us the buffer to look after our two small children and enjoy a better quality of life. I was skeptical about the pay out and I work in the industry. I would reccomend cover to all my friends and family. Life cover does what it says on the tin when it doesnt pay it it is usually due to non disclosure

  11. We at lifeSearch handle many AVIVA claims on behalf of our curstomers and find them fair and decent.
    Their attempt to get consumers to understand the risks we run by nor protecting ourselves is a very expensive commitment to a crucial and long ignored market.
    The ad works damned well, it disturbs appropriately – as we can all do.
    They tell consumers to contact a financial adviser, what more should they do?
    They are not sick, greedy or anything else, they are people just like you and me and they are trying to sell, and help us all sell, more protection.
    That’s a good thing for IFA’s, direct operations (their’s is tiny compared to their IFA side) and most of all, consumers.
    Finding fault in this serious step forward for a market in long term retreat is utterly self defeating for any IFA or provider in my view.
    I do wish Money market would require comentators to put their name to their comments!

  12. It’s all good – why look for negatives such as ‘we aren’t supposed to disturb clients’ or ‘Aviva have gone too far’……….the industry has been constantly telling us about the protection gap in recent years and we all know that life insurance is not a ‘must have’ product. The need for protection products has to be realised by the client and Aviva are assisting all protection writers by using the tried and tested disturbance technique method.
    (and no….i don’t work for Aviva………)

  13. Richard Brown, Managing Director, Moneynotion Limi 19th January 2011 at 6:13 pm

    I have yet to meet a widow who does not believe in life assurance…

  14. Good ad.

    I usually use Sky+ to fast forward through advert breaks.

    This is the first time I have recorded a program specifically to fast forward to the ad break.

  15. I think this is a fantastic campaign. Aviva paid for it so it’s right they should get business out of it, but they also open up the wider market and most importantly get the need for protection in front of the consumers’ faces.

    The fact that it’s supporting a direct to market proposition is irrelevant, the most important thing in my view is the client. If it gets them buying protection, or thinking about it and going to an IFA, then it’s all good.

    It certainly isn’t about drumming up business for IFAs – get your own adverts if that’s what you want. Tom Baigrie has already tried this….

    BTW Tom, I choose to remain anonymous when I post because I work in the industry and have done for a long time. I work in a direct office and wouldn’t want my comments to be misconstrued as representative of the company I work for – and neither do I want to get into trouble and lose my job! I hope you understand.

  16. These are the sort of tactics practised by notorious insurance house Allied Dunbar in the 1980s: sit in between a couple, talk to one party and ignore the other (on the proviso that they are dead).

    These bullying tactics were eventually exposed and outlawed. I frankly consider it outrageous that Aviva can utilise such archaic methods, and justify said methods on the premise that it sells well.

    This company is a joke, and pumping an undisclosed, but undoubtedly obscene amount of money into an advertising budget, fails to disguise this fact.

    It is sad that the talented Paul Whitehouse (the advert’s protagonist), has stooped so low as to accept a role in this repugnant charade. Perhaps he is destitute. Though somehow I doubt it.

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