financial services

Northwestern Mutual Urges Clients To 'Spend Your Life Living'

Northwestern Mutual aims to capture the post-pandemic sentiment of consumers who are re-examining their goals and values and looking for the funds to do what matters to them.

“If not now, then when?” is the theme of the company’s fully integrated, cross-platform advertising campaign that launched last week during the 2022 NFL season kickoff game. The effort will air nationally for the rest of this year and 2023.

Northwestern Mutual’s research revealed that Americans have a desire to pursue their dreams now, rather than wait for that elusive “someday.” Yet financial insecurity is preventing them from going after what’s most important. 

The “Great Realization” is a cultural shift for Americans who have been delaying their dreams to put their priorities into focus and act by creating a financial plan, says Tim Gerend, executive vice president and chief distribution officer at Northwestern Mutual. 



“As we looked at what’s been happening around us through the pandemic, we recognized we’ve all endured a shared experience,” Gerend says in a release. “[This has] forced us to press pause on what we want and need, bringing about a collective awakening that’s motivating people to re-architect a better life both for themselves and their loved ones.”

The campaign, from independent creative agency of record Mirimar, includes a 2-minute longform video, 30-second cutdown TV spot, digital and social media.

Each of the stories in the campaign features someone unlocking the life they want to live with the help of a Northwestern Mutual advisor.

"Passion Pursuit" is the story of a young chef who wants to start her own restaurant, leaving the big city to get back to her roots. "Distant Relatives" is the story of a young family that uses a financial plan to take an extended trip to Japan so their son can connect with his heritage. 

"Kayak"  is about a dad who uses a financial plan to buy the customized campervan he and his daughter had always dreamed of using for a trip.

Mirimar enlisted Oscar-winning cinematographer Linus Sandgreen ("La La Land," "Don't Look Up," "No Time To Die") and  MJZ director Niclas Larsson to help bring the idea to life. 

Creative follows a less traditional structure, immersing the viewer in the story and jumping back in time to see that the financial plan crucially enabled everything to happen.

The effort also includes a partnership with New York Times-best-selling author and happiness expert Gretchen Rubin.

Exclusive content will be available through Rubin’s "Happier" app, on and her social media channels. Rubin and Northwestern Mutual will also co-host a series of Instagram Live "Happier Hours" to showcase how real people have pursued changes in their lives that have led to greater overall happiness.

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