John Hancock Financial Services has launched a television campaign, titled “You Are Not Alone,” that Hancock’s chief marketing officer, David Longfritz, says taps into the frustrations, as well as the resilience, of American investors now.

The ads feature tidbits of frank conversations between investors and couples regarding their concerns over the economy and financial markets, and their struggles to get over this malaise.

“They know that they’ve got to start planning for retirement again. They have to start making decisions” Longfritz told Money Management Executive during a lengthy interview. “There is still actually a lot of paralysis out there. Investors know it.”

Longfritz said that that the messages of the ad campaign came up during lengthy focus group sessions Hancock had with investors across the country.

“During these focus groups, there will telling us a lot of things, ‘I’m getting sick of one person returns,’ ‘I will never retire,’ ‘There are probably risks I won’t take that I should take,’” he said. “Others even said ‘We are like the generation that went through the Great Depression.’”

The campaign is the first under Longfritz, who has been Hancock’s CMO for roughly a year. It was developed by Hancock’s ad agency, Boston-based Hill Holliday.

The ads will run during sports programming like CBS and NBC golf coverage, the U.S. Open in June as well as NBC’s coverage of the NHL. They will also appear on the Golf Channel and ESPN/ESP2.

The ads will also appear on ESPN.com, SI.com, WSJ.com, Forbes.com and financial advisor sites such as Morningstar.com and TheStreet.com.

Longfritz said that the goal was to portray, as realistically as possible, current concerns of investors and to urge them to talk to financial advisors.

“If we absolutely show the truth, what investors are feeling at this moment, by chronicling what we got from the focus groups, we think we can generate investor trust,” he said. “Show that we know what investors are going through.”

One of the greatest messages Longfritz wanted to get across with the ads was the resilience demonstrated by all of the investors interviewed.

“There is still an underlying foundation of optimism. They still laugh. It wasn’t like they would say these things and then look miserable,” he said. “They had the sense that we are all in this together.”

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