Teachers Life introduces Nowly, its millennial-focused sub-brand

Who: Teachers Life, with Good&Ready for brand creation, as well strategy and creative.

What: The launch of Teachers Life’s new millennial focused life insurance brand, Nowly. It is the company’s first sub-brand in its nearly 80-year history, and an attempt to move beyond its roots as an insurance company catering to educators.

When & Where: The brand was unveiled this week with an organic digital marketing campaign: “Living now-ly.”

Why: Teachers Life is a fraternal insurer that has been providing life, disability and sickness insurance to people working in education since 1939. The company had attempted to launch a more consumer-oriented brand under the Teachers name in 2014, with what Nowly’s chief marketing and sales officer, Martha Turner Osborne, called “mixed results.”

Canada as a whole is a very under-insured marketplace, with 40% of the population having no life insurance, and nearly 80% “dramatically under-insured.” These gaps exist because consumers, and particularly millennials, either feel they don’t understand life insurance, or that the process is overly laborious, said Turner Osborne.

As an entirely digital brand, Nowly is specifically designed to make obtaining insurance easy for a cohort that prioritizes convenience. “Most folks today would prefer a very simplified and quick insurance delivery,” said Turner Osborne. “Nobody has an appetite for face-to-face [meetings] right now, so having an online approve or decline experience is ideal.” 

And while life insurance is, by its very nature, focused on the future, Nowly enables members to earn instant “healthy living benefits”—including free access to a virtual health and wellness program, and a $50 annual rebate to be put towards health and wellness expenses/memberships.

How (the name): The Nowly name was selected because it aligned with three key brand pillars: Living in the moment and an expectation of near-instant purchase gratification; a shift in thinking about life insurance as something relating to mortality by incentivizing healthy living; and giving back to the community thanks to its social “give-back program,” Press Start. “It’s about making a big, bold impact now,” said Turner Osborne.

How (the marketing): The accompanying creative features messaging specifically designed to speak to Nowly’s millennial audience, a group that tends to live in the moment, is not focused on future benefits and prioritizes convenience and ease, said Good&Ready co-founder and creative Terry Drummond.

The creative eschews the staid and stuffy approach that is typical of the life insurance category, with no messaging about providing future security for loved ones. Instead it’s characterized by visuals of joyful millennial customers, accompanied by headlines like “You don’t have to die to get something,” “Get coverage faster than your food delivery,” and “It tingles when you live Nowly.” It’s a simple campaign designed in a way that enables Good&Ready to develop multiple creative assets, said Drummond.

“We think this is an incredibly classy, fun and engaging brand, and we will only continue to build on what we’ve already built,” added Turner Osborne.

A brand builder: Good&Ready has previously had a hand in building brands in sectors including personal care and government service, as well as rebranding efforts in the QSR and business services categories, but this is its first time working with a financial services company.

“We really like doing brand creation because hopefully we’ll create [something] that’s around for decades, or a century,” said Drummond. “We’re creating something that is built for a long time, whereas a campaign can go in the market in spring and be gone by summer, and never seen again.”

Chris Powell