[Video] SA Insurer 1Life Moves From Infomercials to Tearjerker…

Jessica Hubbard, Deputy Editor; 18 March 16

This month, life insurance company 1Life launched its latest brand advert. The campaign, developed in partnership with creative agency House of Brave, represents a significant shift in the insurer’s advertising strategy. Matt Arnold, Brand Manager at 1Life, explains that when the company first launched to market in March 2006, it chose to use infomercials to drive awareness.



“Infomercial, retail-driven advertising was required to break through the clutter, and it’s been a long journey for 1Life since then,” he says. “I don’t think we could have done this work with pure, branded advertising without what we did previously.”

Arnold notes that through research and learning over the years, the company realised that it needed to develop a ‘more human connection’ with existing and potential clients.

The emotive tone and style of the new campaign undoubtedly reflects this realisation. It is centred on the idea that one simple thing can change your life (a single glance, a phone call, a chance meeting, etc).



The advert and campaign was developed and executed by House of Brave’s creative team of Gareth O’Callaghan and Conan Green, headed up by ECD, Vanessa Pearson. The production partner was Egg Films.

“As an agency, we believe that you can’t beat a human truth,” says Conan Green, House of Brave. He explains that by sticking to the concept of simple, small things or brief moments in time, they could illustrate how one moment or decision shapes the course of a life.

“Being a direct business, engagement with consumers comes straight back to the company – our brand is our face – so it has become important that consumers know who we are and what we stand for…not necessarily only our offering,” adds Arnold.

The resulting work was recognised for brand leadership on a global advertising platform – Shots – that features brand advertising from commercials to viral campaigns.

“A lot of the narration was quite specific, but we didn’t want the visuals to be that literal,” explains Egg Films’ director Slim. “We tried to avoid obvious, clichéd moments, like the couple getting married and resisted trying to be comedic. We wanted to observe real moments and keep everything as emotional and human as possible.”

Arnold says the response thus far has been ‘phenomenal’, and feedback from the company internally, as well as externally on social media, etc, has been ‘overwhelmingly positive’. South Africans have been interacting online with the content, and explaining how they relate to the key moments depicted in the advert.

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Category: Advertising