John Hancock Launches Fresh Installation of Life Comes Next

The brand brings back its multi-channel ‘Life Comes Next’ marketing campaign for another year with television, online, and social media executions taking the lead

John Hancock has launched three new ad spots in line with the second phase of its ‘Life Comes Next’ advertising campaign. Each ad begins on television and portrays individuals and families in pivotal life moments, facing challenges with financial implications such as deciding to obtain life insurance protection for a new family, affording college, building wealth, and planning for retirement or long-term care needs.

The ads then send viewers to a dedicated microsite where they can finish the stories by viewing three alternative endings for each, join in a discussion about them, and obtain information related to the various financial scenarios. Each of the endings closes with the tagline: ‘When life comes, be prepared for it.’ Originally launched one year ago, ‘Life Comes Next’ was named Advertising Campaign of the Year at the 22nd Annual Mutual Fund Industry Awards.

“What’s different this time is that we are incorporating humour into the scenarios. For most people, these conversations—about having enough money to live on, or buying life insurance—often are difficult and many of us use humour or irony to diffuse the awkwardness. We believe this approach is consistent with our tradition of depicting real-life conversations in a realistic way,” said James W. Bacharach, Vice President of Brand, Marketing & Creative Services of John Hancock.

Also, the new campaign makes references to John Hancock’s recently launched Vitality product, a life insurance solution that provides policyholders with financial protection as well as opportunities to significantly save on their annual premiums and earn valuable rewards and discounts for taking steps to improve their health. The aforementioned ads feature empathetic portrayals of common experiences.

The Walk depicts a young couple, with a baby in a jogging stroller, engrossed in a conversation neither one is enthusiastic about. Viewers find out the topic by going online: are they grappling with a new need to buy life insurance, contemplating having one of their fathers move in with them or planning for seemingly far-off college costs?

In The Sixth Floor, a 40-ish woman takes a deep breath as she steps out of an elevator. Is she: seeing for the first time the new office space of her own company, there on a job interview, returning to work after a hiatus raising children or entering a doctor’s office waiting room as her husband undergoes a health screening?

In The Question, an older, retired man studies an iPad on the sun porch of his home, as his son and daughter-in-law anxiously look on. The couple is showing him either: the new home where they hope he will come to live with them, an assisted-living community or his old storefront space where they plan to open a restaurant.

The ad spots include an active social media component. “We are fostering a dialogue, asking viewers how they think the story should or most likely will end, and to share their own experiences. The audience is invited to join the conversation at #LifeComesNext,” Bacharach added.

Along with the story videos, on the website, viewers learn where to find more information about financial concerns as well as statistics such as average student loan debt, the percentage of mothers who are the top earners in their families, and the percentage of Americans who have a plan for long-term care.

The new ads are slated to run from September through December and then again in late March for the spring. They will appear on NFL Thursday night games on the NFL Network (cable), on network college football, ESPN, and popular lifestyle cable channels including Discovery, History Channel, Food Network, and the Travel Channel.  Online, the ads will appear on,,, and

The creative executions were developed by advertising agency, Hill Holliday, under the direction of Scott Noble, Bob Gates, Joe Fallon, and Chief Creative Officer Lance Jensen. Memorable prior Hill Holliday campaigns for John Hancock include ‘Real Life. Real Answers’, ‘Investments for the Opportunities’, ‘Insurance for the Unexpected’ and ‘Cursor’.