Liberty Mutual Knows Exactly How to Get You to Remember Its Ads

GS&P wields some tried-and-true tools

Thrilling stunts. Slapstick humor. Nostalgia.

Goodby Silverstein & Partners lampoons such time-worn advertising tropes for Liberty Mutual in a silly, self-aware campaign that winks at its audience. Then nods knowingly. Then winks some more!

Themed "Something to Help You Remember" and directed by MJZ's Steve Ayson (who's helmed notable work for Nike and Old Spice), the amusing scenarios include a typical suburban family exploding across the screen in an orgy of comic destruction:

Liberty Mutual | Something to Help You Remember Exciting: Stunts

"Big explosions and people crashing through barriers are nothing if not memorable," GS&P New York creative director Cam Miller tells Muse. "We felt like it's even more memorable to take those massive action sequences and force them into this relaxed home atmosphere where people are casually discussing the value of customized insurance."

In this next spot, Liberty gets slap-happy while fishing for laughs:

Liberty Mutual | Something to Help You Remember: Slapstick Humor

"The inspiration for this is big, Super Bowl-y commercials where the punchline for a spot could just be 'Guy gets hit with flying object'—and it was still very funny," Miller says. "It's hard to not laugh at physical comedy done well. I think the big hurdle we had while shooting this was coming to a consensus on which species and size of fish is funniest to toss at someone. It's 'large salmon,' I think."

Finally, the brand dials up nostalgia, with an unhappy home movie (all they want for Christmas is insurance, dammit!), TV carts, snap bracelets and grating modem noises imported from Bill Clinton's America:

Liberty Mutual | Something to Help You Remember: Nostalgia
Liberty Mutual | Something to Help You Remember: Dial-Up
Liberty Mutual | Something to Help You Remember: TV Cart
Liberty Mutual | Something to Help You Remember: Fad
Liberty Mutual | Something to Help You Remember: Jeans

"There's something shamelessly sentimental about showing the excitement of opening presents on Christmas morning," notes Miller. "And because we really wanted that vintage, nostalgic feel, this was actually shot on an old camcorder from that late '80s/early '90s era."

But why skewer advertising at all? For pity's sake, why?!

"There are so many ad clichés out there that viewers are familiar with, whether they've ever stopped to think about them or not," Miller says. "We liked the idea of leveling with those viewers and being really, really honest about our intentions and why we're using those techniques. Because we want them to remember that Liberty Mutual customizes home insurance, and history has proven that things like slapstick humor will help with that."

"And then we commit so ridiculously, desperately hard to using each technique that it's somehow still surprising," he says. "Also, as advertising people who have relied on these tropes, we're essentially poking fun at ourselves, which I think people can appreciate."

As for Liberty's two ongoing ad series? "Insurance-obsessed emus and interesting boardwalk characters aren't going anywhere," Miller explains. "This is a new campaign and will run alongside the 'Truth Tellers' and 'LiMu Emu & Doug' work."

Maybe LiMu can smack Doug with a fish someday. We'd all remember that!

CREDITS

Ad Agency: Goodby Silverstein & Partners, NYC
Client: Liberty Mutual Insurance
Title of Creative Work: Something To Help You Remember 
Live Date: 11/19/20

Client
Chief Marketing Officer: Jenna Lebel
Director of Marketing Communications: Lisa Paige
Program Manager, Broad Reach Marketing: Abby Muti

Creative
Co-Chairmen: Jeff Goodby and Rich Silverstein
Chief Creative Officer: Margaret Johnson
Executive Creative Director: Danny Gonzalez
Executive Creative Director: David Suarez
Creative Director: Cam Miller
Art Director: David Spradlin
Copywriter: Craig Shervin
Copywriter: Josh Hacohen

Production
Director of Broadcast Production: Leila Gage
Senior Broadcast Producer: Molly Troy 

Account Services
Managing Partner: Brian McPherson
Group Account Director: Chris Ferko
Account Director: Katie Lancaster
Account Manager: Crystal Chan
Assistant Account Manager: Samantha Manin

Brand and Communication Strategy
Head of Brand Strategy: Bonnie Wan
Head of Communication Strategy: Christine Chen
Group Communication Strategy Director: Dong Kim
Group Brand Strategy Director: Katie Coane
Brand Strategist Director: Harper Bokum-Fauth
Research Data & Analytics Strategy Director: Lauren Adrover 
Brand Strategist: Shaza Elsheshtawy

Business Affairs
Director of Business Affairs: Judy Ybarra
Sr. Business Affairs Manager: Anna Diokno

Production Company
Company Name: MJZ
Director: Steve Ayson
Director of Photography: Alwin H. Küchler
Production Designer: Michelle Derrick 
President: David Zander
Executive Producer: Emma Wilcockson
Head of Production: Janet Nowosad 
Producer: Ed Callagan

Editorial Company
Company name: Rock Paper Scissors
Editor: Carlos Arias
Assistant Editor: Ashley Tantillo
Managing Director: Eve Kornblum
Producer: Taylor Colbert, Julianne Watson

VFX/Finishing
Company name: The Mill
Executive Producer: Hillary Thomas
Associate Producer: Bret Aros
VFX Production Coordinator: Mike Cimino
Shoot Supervisor: Dan Dixon
Creative Director: John Leonti 
2D Lead Artist: Tim Rudgard
3D Lead Artist: Ed Boldero
2D Artist: Ben Smith, Jake Albers, Abigail Riegel, Dylan Streiff, Yukiko Ishiwata, Shauna Prescott, Marisa Chin
3D Artist: Alice Panek, Omar Taher, Micahel Lori, Elizabeth Hammer, Troy Barsness, Ashwani Patel, Ghattamaneni Prakash, Indrajeet Kumar, Matthew Bell, Sameer Dhumal, Vinayak V
Matte Painting: Itai Muller
Motion Graphics: Patrick Kipper
Art Department: Kevin Diaz, Valerie Chernysh

Sound Design
Sound Design: Heard City
Sound Design + Mix: Keith Reynaud
EP: Sasha Awn

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David Gianatasio
David Gianatasio is senior editor at Clio Awards.

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