Who: Canada Life, with Taxi for strategy and creative, Merchant for production (directed by Alex Hulsey), and Married to Giants, Alter Ego and Berkeley for post-production. Mindshare for media.
What: A new campaign for the brand’s “For Life as You Know It” brand platform, which launched a year ago.
When & Where: The campaign is in market now, running nationally in English and French across TV, online video, social and out-of-home. There is also creative in Mandarin and Cantonese by Balmoral.
Why: The core message at the heart of “For Life as You Know It” is that Canada Life is there for people to reach their goals, no matter what stage of life they’re at, where they’re going, and how they want to get there.
“We really wanted to explore the idea that we all have our own trajectories and ambitions, and there’s no one way to do life,” said Alexis Bronstorph, co-chief creative officer at Taxi. “The first wave of this campaign was hugely successful in letting people know who Canada Life is, and we are still on a mission to drive awareness and understanding of the brand.”
How: The campaign is anchored by a 30-second TV spot that opens with a boy sitting down in front of a camera, and an off-camera voice asking: “What do you want to be when you grow up?” The boy seems momentarily surprised by the question, but the ad flashes forward to show him grown up and working as a dentist. The rest of the spot follows the same structure, showing children before jumping ahead to show where they go with their lives.
In just 30 seconds, the spots shows 14 different child-to-adult stories—from dancers to astronauts—with the wide breadth of different lived experiences helping the viewer understand that Canada Life is there for everyone. “We just love the innocence of being a kid and that blank slate,” said Bronstorph. “It’s that moment where you go from being that blank slate to the thing you ended up doing in life: We’re here for you.”
Casting: Handled by Powerhouse, the casting for the spot was a real accomplishment, said Bronstorsph. “Trying to find these little kids who then turn into their adult selves—these two sort of doppelgängers in kids and adult form—was definitely a feat.”
The music: It’s the 1969 song, “Nobody But Me” by the Human Beinz. Working with Berkeley for audio, Taxi and Canada Life wanted something that fit the story, but with a lot of energy, said Bronstroph. Last year they used “Everyday People.”
“It was one of those tracks where, if you’re sitting on the couch, you just look up. And we wanted one of those,” she said. “When we heard this one, we really felt like we’ve found the one. And I think for me personally, I just love that horn off the top. It gives you that same feeling of like ‘Whoa, what is this?'”