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Northwestern Mutual’s Latest Ad Campaign Celebrates American Resilience

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Northwestern Mutual, a leading financial services company, unveiled new ads featuring poignant and powerful stories of real client experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic. The ads showcase the challenges Americans are facing, and how partnering with a Northwestern Mutual advisor and having a financial plan in place can make a meaningful difference now and in the future. The integrated campaign launches across TV, digital, and social media.

When the pandemic hit, Americans were faced with unexpected challenges, both personal and financial. According to a Northwestern Mutual consumer survey conducted in April, more than half (60 percent) of respondents revealed COVID-19 was negatively impacting their emotional well-being. Furthermore, 64 percent said it had a significant impact on their daily lives, 68 percent shared they were concerned about the U.S. economy, and more than 50 percent expressed apprehension about retirement losses.

“In response to the unprecedented stress and anxiety that millions of Americans are facing, our advisors continue to provide extraordinary care and guidance to clients as they navigate the uncertainty of 2020,” said Lee Hurley, chief marketing officer, Northwestern Mutual. “This new campaign showcases inspirational stories of resilience – told through the voice of our clients who are overcoming challenges brought on by the pandemic. It is through their experiences that people will see the vital role our advisors are playing in helping them protect their dreams and plan for the future.”

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Creative agency Mrs. & Mr. (New York, NY) partnered with Northwestern Mutual on its latest campaign. An integrated 360 campaign will come to life through targeted programming and partnerships across TV, digital, social media, and influencer activation. TV ads will launch in the second week of September during the US Open and the kick-off of the NFL regular season. They’ll cascade across news, lifestyle, and entertainment programming on top-tier broadcast as well as cable networks.

The company also launched digital and broadcast partnerships with Cheddar, TheSkimm, and CNN’s Represented programming, which explores the past, present, and future of women’s rights in the U.S. and around the world. The partnerships amplify the storytelling aspect of this campaign, highlight the work of its advisors, and showcase the power of the advisor-client relationship.

Additionally, the company will transform its social channels by providing content from its financial advisors to answer the critical questions consumers are facing due to the pandemic. Influencers will help break down barriers surrounding financial planning by sharing authentic stories about how, with the help of a Northwestern Mutual advisor, they are financially and emotionally navigating important life stages in a COVID-19 world. These stories will capture important moments related to wedding planning, home buying, running a small business, and family planning.

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The campaign is the first under Chief Marketing Officer Lee Hurley. Hurley was named CMO in February and is responsible for overseeing the company’s marketing strategy, including brand and activation, field marketing and engagement, client marketing, and creative. Hurley succeeds Aditi Javeri Gokhale, who was named chief commercial officer and president, investment products and services, for the company in 2019.

Prior to her appointment as CMO, Hurley served as vice president of brand and activation for Northwestern Mutual. In that role, she was instrumental in leading the Northwestern Mutual brand and consumer marketing transformation – challenging the financial services category and repositioning the brand to make it relevant and accessible to a broader audience. She led the strategy and execution of the highly successful Spend Your Life Living campaign that reframed people’s idea of financial planning and empowered individuals to make the most of every single day. The campaign yielded triple-digit growth in lead generation year-over-year and millions of impressions. Under her leadership, Northwestern Mutual built on that success to launch the second chapter of Spend Your Life Living – The American Dream campaign in late 2019 which showcased powerful, diverse, and emotive stories that reflected the realities and dreams of Americans today and drove more than 60 percent lead growth year over year through the first quarter of 2020.

Hurley also spearheaded the build-out of marketing insights and analytics and the redesign of the company’s website, re-invented its media strategy, and launched an end-to-end digital lead generation program that continues to drive growth for the company.

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