After a pandemic pause, Canada Life launches its brand

Who: Canada Life, with Taxi for creative, Scout’s Honour for production, Outsider for editing, The Vanity for post production, Alter Ego for colour, and Berkeley for music. Media from Mindshare.

What: A new mass advertising campaign for the insurance brand, built around the tagline “For life as you know it.”

When & Where: The campaign runs from mid-September through the end of November across TV, online video and display, as well as social and out of home. It’s running in English, French and Chinese (traditional and simplified).

Why: After announcing plans to fold Great-West Life and London Life into Canada Life, the new Canada Life brand was formally launched at the start of the year.

“It was really important first and foremost, to get our name out there,” said Jeff Marshall, Canada Life’s senior vice-president and chief digital and brand officer. “The Canada Life brand is relatively new to many Canadians. And so primarily we want to drive brand awareness and help Canadians to understand the businesses that we’re in.”

The brand launch campaign was planned for spring, but the pandemic put those plans on hold. The original strategy and vision for “Life as you know it” remained, but the creative had to be updated, said Marshall. “The tagline predated the covid outbreak but we had to reframe our creative approach because of the pandemic.” (A smaller digital only campaign that directly addressed some of the dynamics of the pandemic ran in June.)

How: The goal of the creative is to show people with very different financial planning needs and objectives, all connected by their Canadian-ness, said Marshall. The anchor spot features a variety of different people—from fishing retirees to young working professionals, parents with new babies and parents with new grads—all enjoying individual slice-of-life moments but grounded in the solid foundation of the rocky Canadian shield.

“We talked a lot about where are they,” said Taxi’s executive creative director Alexis Bronstorph of the decision to situate the tableau on the Canadian Shield. “We just felt like we want to bring that beautiful feeling of Canada to life.”

It was shot with the now-standard social distancing precautions in place. Each of the vignettes was filmed individually, using real families where necessary, with the vignettes stitched together in post production.  

The music: Sly & The Family Stone’s “Everyday People.” “[It] just fit the content so well,” said Marshall. “There is an underlying message there around inclusion and the differences of people, but the importance of people coming together.”   

David Brown