Millennials, It's OK to Move Back Home, Says MassMutual's Brand Campaign

Finances Are a Family Affair in Effort From Johannes Leonardo

Published On
May 16, 2017

Editor's Pick

It's OK to go home. That's the message of MassMutual's new ad campaign breaking this week that basically gives permission for kids to move back in with their parents.

The Springfield, Mass.-based insurance company's branding and ad campaign is centered around the importance of interdependence in today's increasingly financially fraught society.

"This is a multi-generational issue," said Gareth Ross, chief digital and customer experience officer at the financial brand. "Parents are not saving for their own retirement to help pay off their children's debt -- there's this dependency right now." He added that MassMutual, which has been around for 166 years and is owned by its members and policyholders, wants to provide a message of stability and community.

The work, the first from new agency of record Johannes Leonardo for MassMutual, includes a 60-second spot directed by Brent Harris via Skunk. It features poignant scenes of family connection -- a boy tends to his younger sister's boo-boo, a woman helps her elderly father replace a lightbulb, a traveler carrying a backpack appears to return to her family home, after what appears to be a solo adventure. All the while, a voiceover reflects on how our long-held beliefs tying success to independence may not be the only path: "But there's another way to live -- a way that sees the only path to fulfillment is through others, that our time here can be deep beyond measure ... What the world taught as weakness, is in fact, our greatest virtue."

The campaign also includes 30-second spot and four 15-second versions airing on nationwide cable and broadcast TV. Other assets of the campaign, which is expected to run for 18-to-24 months, include print, outdoor, radio and digital. A new logo and website will also be rolled out.

The company offered some sobering statistics in support of the effort: Nearly one-third (32%) of young adults age 18-to-34 now live at home with their parents; only one-third of baby boomers are confident they will have enough money to last through retirement; millennials are burdened with more than $1.3 trillion in student loan debt; and the median middle class income fell 4% in the past decade.

Leo Premutico, co-founder and chief creative officer at Johannes Leonardo, said after three or four months of research and going into MassMutual and talking to its executives and stakeholders, the agency landed on a relevant human insight to lead the campaign. "It's our interdependence that is our greatest gift and this first body of work is laying the foundation for that idea," he said.

The agency came up with the new brand "call to action" of "Live Mutual" by going back to the roots of the company, which was founded by a handful of people who decided that the best way to protect their futures was to come together, said Premutico.

He said that people tend to avoid the topic of life insurance because it brings up the concept of death or related issues, so the agency tried to talk about it in a more optimistic way.

The 60-second spot purposely compares small, everyday life moments with grand scenes, such as the sun emerging around the planet as a way to highlight that the little things in life are just as monumental as the big things, said Premutico.

MassMutual is also looking to appeal to millennials, Premutico said, because they are part of a very large emerging demographic and the group has "a lot of financial unpreparedness."

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May 16, 2017
Brand :
Client :
Agency :
Johannes Leonardo
Head of Brand and Advertising :
Jennifer Halloran
Brand Strategy :
Jill Hambley
Co-Founder :
Jan Jacobs
Chief Creative Officer :
Jan Jacobs
Co-Founder :
Leo Premutico
Chief Creative Officer :
Leo Premutico
President :
Bryan Yasko
Creative Director :
Kasia Canning
Junior Copywriter :
Tommy Woods
Junior Art Director :
Jacob Mehringer
Junior Copywriter :
Amanda Kim
Design Director :
Annie Sterenberg
Designer :
Andree Ljutica
Junior Designer :
Sarah Wasley
Head of Integrated Production :
Dana May
Senior Integrated Producer :
Kirsten Larson
Senior Integrated Producer :
Shami LaCourt
Production Designer :
Nina Gonzales
Business Affairs Director :
Marta Stajek
Senior Business Affairs Manager :
Ann Marie Turbitt
Head of Account Management :
Emily Wilcox
Account Supervisor :
Adam Rubin
Director, Creative Services :
Michelle Moscone
Head of Strategy :
Mark Aronson
Director, Strategy :
Mary Bakarich
Strategist :
Ben Breier
Film Production Company :
Director :
Brent Harris
Director, Photography :
Jody Lee Lipes
President :
Matt Factor
Chief Creative Officer :
Shelly Townsend
Executive Producer :
Shelly Townsend
Executive Producer :
Jeanne Stawiarski
Head of Production :
Jeanne Stawiarski
Producer :
Ed Callaghan
Production Service Company :
Means of Production
Executive Producer :
David Bouck
Head of Production :
Heinrich Beisheim
Production Manager :
James Hutchison
Editorial :
The Whitehouse Post
Lead Editor :
Adam Marshall
Assistant Editor :
Matt Hartman
Assistant Editor :
Steven Canavan
Executive Producer :
Caitlin Grady
Senior Producer :
Melanie Klein
Visual Effects :
Lead Flame Artist :
Kieran Walsh
Flame Artist :
Chris Wiseman
Flame Artist :
Matt Reilly
Flame Artist :
Bryan Rosenblum
Flame Artist :
Joe Scaglione
Executive Producer :
Frank Devlin
Producer :
Briana Brackett
Color :
Company 3
Colorist :
Tim Masick
Producer :
Roshelle Brown
Music :
Groove Guild
Original Music :
Title: "Slow Motion"
Creative Director :
Paul Riggio
Composer :
Jon Notar
Producer :
Janice Brown
Sound Design :
Paul Riggio
Logo Sonic Mnemonic Animation :
Brand New School
Creative Director :
Brumby Boylston
Producer :
Amy Russo
Producer :
Jackson Rogers
Animator :
Julia Wrigh
Animator :
Laury Santoso
Animator :
Calvin Prieto
Animator :
Peter Lee
Sonic Mnemonic Composer :
Ryan Huff
Sound/Mix :
Heard City
Sound Engineer :
Mike Vitacco
Executive Producer :
Gloria Pitagorsky
Producer :
Sasha Awn
Media Agency :
Giant Spoon

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