If not now, then when? That’s the sentiment behind Northwestern Mutual’s fully integrated, cross-platform advertising campaign which launched September 8thduring the 2022 NFL season kickoff game between the Buffalo Bills and the Los Angeles Rams.Independent creative company and agency of record MIRIMAR created a TV, digital, and social media campaign that will air nationally throughout 2023.
Northwestern Mutual’s proprietary research revealed that Americans have an overwhelming desire to pursue their dreams now, rather than wait for that elusive “someday.” Yet, financial insecurity is preventing them from going after what’s most important. The “Great Realization” is a cultural rallying cry for all Americans who have been delaying their dreams to put their priorities into sharp focus and act by creating a financial plan.
“As we looked at what’s been happening around us through the pandemic, we recognized we’ve all endured a shared experience. An experience that’s forced us to press pause on what we want and need, bringing about a collective awakening that’s motivating people to re-architect a better life both for themselves and their loved ones,” said Tim Gerend, executive vice president and chief distribution officer at Northwestern Mutual.
It’s this cultural shift that lays the foundation for the “Great Realization” campaign. The fully integrated cross platform effort launches with a long form anthem, TV commercials, digital and social media. Each of the emotive stories in the campaign features someone who can unlock the life they want to live with the help of a Northwestern Mutual advisor.
‘Passion’ is the story of a young chef that wants to start her own restaurant, leaving the big city to get back to her roots. ‘Distant Relatives’ is the story of a young family that uses a financial plan to take an extended trip to Japan so their son can connect with his heritage. ‘Kayak’ is about a dad who spends too much time working. He realizes that it’s more important to take the trip of a lifetime with his daughter and uses a financial plan to buy the customized campervan they’d always dreamed of taking a trip in.
MIRIMAR enlisted the help of Oscar-winning cinematographer Linus Sandgreen (La La Land, Don’t Look Up, James Bond No Time To Die) and highly acclaimed MJZ director Niclas Larsson to help bring the idea to life. The body of work follows a less traditional structure, immersing the viewer in the story and jumping back in time to see that the financial plan crucially enabled everything to happen.
“We’re proud to partner with Northwestern Mutual and make work together that taps into a cultural truth and people everywhere seizing the life experiences they’ve been held back from or put off,” said John McKelvey, founder and chief creative officer of MIRIMAR. “There’s an urgency to enjoying life we all feel now and ‘The Great Realization’ movement embraces this.”
To further help Americans make their realizations a reality, the company is partnering with New York Times-best-selling author and happiness expert Gretchen Rubin to help consumers understand the connection between happiness, personal priorities and how they can achieve both through a comprehensive financial plan. Exclusive content will be available through Rubin’s Happier app, on GretchenRubin.com and her social media channels. Rubin and Northwestern Mutual will also co-host a series of Instagram Live ‘Happier Hours’ to showcase how real people have pursued changes in their lives that have led to greater overall happiness, all through lively conversations and a series of special guests.
With more than $560 billion in combined company and client assets, $34 billion in revenues, and $2.1 trillion worth of life insurance protection in force, Northwestern Mutual delivers financial security to nearly five million people with life, disability income and long-term care insurance, annuities, and brokerage and advisory services. Northwestern Mutual ranked 97 on the 2022 FORTUNE 500 and was recognized by FORTUNE® as one of the “World’s Most Admired” life insurance companies in 2022.
Client: Northwestern Mutual
Chief Distribution Officer: Tim Gerend
Senior Director, Brand and Advertising: Paul Barthelemy
VP Creative: James Murphy
VP Growth Marketing: Erica Filanowicz
Senior Director, Creative Operations: Peter Papazoglou
Founder, Chief Creative Officer: John McKelvey
Founder, Managing Director: Luke McKelvey
Executive Creative Director: Nick Morrissey
Chief Strategy Officer: Meredith Chase
Creative Director: Eron Broughton
Creative Director: Mike Egan
Creative Director: Josh Braithwaite
Copywriter: Winston Farley
Art Director: James Kunzler
Jr. Art Director: Bella Davies
Group Account Director: Mandy Wakimoto
Sr Account Director: Jourdan Merkow
Senior Producer: Amy Berriochoa
Sr. Project & Operations Manager: Lindsey Reynolds
Business Affairs Director: Cindy Lewellan
Production Company: MJZ
Director: Niclas Larsson
Cinematographer: Linus Sandgren
President/Co-Founder: David Zander
Executive Producer: Eriks Krumins
Producer: Jacqueline Wilkinson
Editorial – Cabin Editorial
Editor: Carla Luffe
Sr. Cutting Assistant: Doug Scott
Producer: Katy Lester
Sr. Producer: Britt Carson
Executive Producer: Adam Becht
VFX – Kevin
Executive Creative Director / Partner: Tim Davies
Sr. Executive Producer / Partner: Sue Troyan
Senior VFX Producer: Jamie Schakel
On Set VFX Supervisor: Pete Smith
Compositing Lead: Steve Gibbons
2D: Rob Winfeld, Susanne Scharping
Design: Miguel Delcan
Color: Company 3
Sr. Colorist: Sophie Borup
Head of Production, Short Form: Julia Paskert
Producer, Short Form: Alexandra Lubrano
Music, Sound Design & Mix: Barking Owl
Creative Director/ Co-Founder: Kelly Bayett
Sr. Producer: KC Dossett
Composer: Barking Owl
Sound Design/ Mix: Mike Franklin
Assistant: Beau Manning