Life Insurance Startup Bestow's Funny Ads Play the Shame Game

'What if everyone knew' you had no coverage?

Planning to burden family members with your debts once you kick off this mortal coil? For shame!

Insurance startup Bestow suggests you buy some life insurance instead, bringing social pressure to bear in funny ads from Preacher. Striking a cheeky Orwellian tone, each :30 focuses on someone who bypasses policies, only to be shamed by friends and family who discover their lack of foresight and preparation.

Three ads dropping this week score with subversive humor, but this vignette, set in a park, works best:

"We won't judge your lack of life insurance, but your mom-friends might

"So, I hear you don't have life insurance," one mom says to another, as their kids play nearby.

"How? That's incredibly hard to find out."

"Oh, you know. People talk … It's so brave of you to leave your family with all your debt when you die."

Imperial Woodpecker director Andrew Jasperson imbues the spots with a perfect balance of silliness and edge. As pure comedy or earnest warnings, they'd probably fall flat. As dark-humored cautionary tales, however, they've got the brand well covered.

"One of the biggest challenges life insurance providers face is driving urgency," Tannen Campbell, Bestow's chief marketer, tells Muse. "People know they need life insurance. In fact, in a proprietary study we conducted last year, we found that 75 percent of respondents who didn't have life insurance were interested in purchasing it. But especially with busy parents, getting life insurance often slips to the bottom of the to-do list. So, our campaign strategy was to drive urgency."

Here's a quasi-creepy late-night exploration of sibling rivalry:

Get life insurance before your smug brother asks if you need some of his

Finally, a fiscally prudent teenager engages in some "trash talk" with mom:

You’re going to disappoint your kids. Don’t let not having life insurance be the reason why

"We wanted to dispel the common misconception that the life insurance process requires in-person contact and takes a lot of time," a key selling point in the Covid era, Campbell says. "It's important for people to know that there is a way to apply for life insurance in about 10 minutes without ever having to shake hands with an agent, see a doctor or get a medical exam. This campaign highlights how quick and easy it can be to get a little peace of mind, which is in short supply these days."

In terms of creative approach, "we felt guilt was the perfect way to give them the kick in the pants to follow through on their good intentions, to overcome insurance procrastination and do something they actually want to do," says Preacher creative director Kellyn Bount.

It would be a shame if you didn't check out the campaign's social component below:


Client: Bestow
Co-Founder, CEO: Melbourne O'Banion
Co-Founder, President: Jonathan Abelmann
Chief Marketing Officer: Tannen Campbell
VP, Creative Director: Jill Bradley

Agency: Preacher
Chief Creative Officer: Rob Baird
Creative Director: Kellyn Blount
Creative Director: Greg Hunter
Senior Art Director:  J.J. Kraft
Senior Copywriter: Chris Vandersall
Senior Designer: Tim Praetzel
Executive Producer: Stacey Higgins
Agency Producer: Meg Volk
Brand Director: Jessica Vaughan
Brand Manager: Meegan Moore
Chief Executive Officer: Krystle Loyland
Chief Strategy Officer: Seth Gaffney
Senior Strategist: Stephen Maroda
Senior Business Affairs Manager: Abbi Press

Production Company: Imperial Woodpecker
Executive Producer: Doug Halbert
Director:  Andrew Jasperson
Line Producer:  Robby Mooring
DP: Jason McCormick
Casting: Alyson Horn Casting

Edit House: Cut + Run Austin
Executive Producer: Bebe Baldwin
Producer: Cristina Matracia
Editor: Frank Effron
Assistant Editor: Nick Kondylas

Mix & Finish House: TBD Post

Online Producer: Francess Tom-Sahr
Online Artist: Kagan Durmer
Colorist: Brandon Thomas
Sound Design and Mix: TBD Post, Dusty Albertz

Photography: Anderson Hopkins
Photographer: Justin Bettman
Production Manager: Ryan Horn

Advertise With Us

Featured Clio Award Winner



The best in creativity delivered to your inbox every morning.