REALITY TV

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Amid all the commercials comedy and light entertainment, John Hancock and Hill, Holliday/Boston have another very serious TV campaign for insurance and financial planning on the air. Supers like "The average age a woman becomes a widow is 56," and "51% of Americans have no retirement funds at all," can be downright grim. But in the able hands of the documentarians at Radical Media - Len Dorfman, Ralf Schmerberg, Frank Todaro and Errol Morris were all involved in this work - this is strangely compelling stuff. One spot, directed by Morris, focuses on a 25-year high school reunion. A speech by a classmate introduces statistics, like how many members married, how many died, how many "came out," in a cleverly unobtrusive way, putting a human face on actuarial tables. Another spot, directed by Todaro, for retirement planning, captures the half-ecstatic, half-hysterical reaction of a couple in their late 30s who just learned they're expecting another child. Another tear-jerker, for long-term care, directed by Schmerberg, features a woman introducing herself to her mother, who presumably has Alzheimer's. "What's your name?" the mother asks. "Gabriella," the woman answers. "That's a nice name," the mother says, patting her hand. "Your daughter, Gabriella?" the woman says, choking up.

Client: John Hancock Agency: Hill, Holliday/Boston CCD: Mike Sheehan AD: Todd Riddle/Dave Gardiner CWs: Jonathan Plazonja/Mark Nardi/Joe Berkeley Agency Producers: Tom Foley/Scott Hainline Directors: Leonard Dorfman/Frank Todaro/Ralf Schmerberg/Errol Morris Production Co: Radical Media Editor: Hank Corwin, Lost Planet Editorial

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