John Hancock Financial Services has launched a new multi-million dollar advertising campaign to bring attention to its expanded fund lineup and strong brand in the marketplace.

Donna Driscoll, senior vice president of John Hancock brand management and corporate communications, pointed out that the campaign has two distinct targets. The first is the sales intermediaries who sell Hancock products and the second is consumers seeking financial assistance.

"For intermediaries, the key message is, John Hancock now provides more innovative investment solutions,'" Driscoll said. "For consumers, it's, John Hancock can help me on many aspects of my financial needs, from protecting my family and assets today to managing my financial future tomorrow.'"

This is the first campaign since the company merged with Manulife Financial of Boston in the early part of 2004. "Since the 2004 merger with Manulife Financial, John Hancock is now backed by the strength of a global enterprise with a revitalized focus in the investments arena through our enhanced mutual funds strategy and stronger portfolio of product offerings," said Colleen Fitzpatrick, director of marketing at Hancock.

As a result of the merger, John Hancock is now a unit of Canada-based Manulife, which offers clients a diverse range of financial protection products and wealth management services. "Through this campaign, Hancock hopes to better position the company as offering a full range of innovative investment solutions," Fitzpatrick noted.

The advertisements were created by Boston-based Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos. They include 30- and 60-second television commercials, which will appear during ESPN programs, such as "SportsCenter," "College Football," "NFL Countdown" and "College Football Game Day." The commercials made their debut during the Major League Baseball Championship Series on Oct. 15 and were also seen during the World Series.

"The spots have a contemporary new approach and highlight the increased breadth of the company's product line," Driscoll said. "A key objective is to demonstrate a revitalized focus in the investments arena through our enhanced mutual fund strategy.

Upbeat Tone'

"The campaign has an upbeat tone reflecting the renewed energy and momentum of John Hancock," Fitzpatrick added.

As for the print ads, they will be featured in trade publications that reach financial intermediaries who sell Hancock products, including independent financial planners and investment advisors, insurance agents and brokers, pension managers, plan sponsors and consultants, bank managers and bank representatives. They are running in Advisor Today, Investment Advisor, Investment News, Journal of Financial Planning, Life Insurance Selling, National Underwriter, Pensions & Investments, Plan Sponsor, Registered Rep and Research, as well as sister publications Bank Investment Consultant, Employee Benefit News, Financial Planning and On Wall Street.

The print ad headline reads: "Innovative investment products your clients should know about, from a company they know very well. For wealth protection. For lifestyle preservation." Then the ad moves on to say that Hancock offers more than 50 mutual funds representing all of the asset classes, including a wide array of lifestyle portfolios, as well as annuities, retirement plan services, college savings plans, long-term care and life insurance.

Hancock boasts that it is a "symbol of strength and stability," having been in the investment management business for more than 140 years and managing close to $300 billion across the globe.

Driscoll said the ads are meant to highlight the strength and depth of John Hancock as part of the second-largest life insurer in North America and the fifth-largest in the world. "At a time when more and more people are becoming aware of their financial needs and the importance of a strong and steady ally in meeting those needs, John Hancock has a great story to tell," she said.

John Hancock's last advertising campaign ran in 2003. Ads that ran during Major League Baseball and the Olympics focused on the company's expertise in financial protection products.

529 Support

Separately, on Oct. 13, Hancock's college savings division launched a marketing campaign to support its financial advisers' efforts to sell 529 plans during the gifting season. The campaign includes targeted direct mailings and support materials and tools designed to make it easy for advisers to create their own personalized campaigns.

In addition to targeted direct mailings to financial advisers, John Hancock provided a number of "how-to" pieces that explain how to position gifting, including: a checklist with key steps for building a successful campaign and how to use the tools, a gifting brochure with 529 plan sales ideas for the season, a contribution booklet with coupons that can be handed out to families and friends to help grow a 529 plan account, a gifting article that can be customized with a financial adviser's contact information and sent to clients electronically, gift certificates and gift cards for clients who want to give the gift of an education to a loved one.

Hancock also developed electronic and print tools to help advisers reach out to clients, all of which can be downloaded or ordered from the financial consultant resource center at

(c) 2005 Money Management Executive and SourceMedia, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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