Standard Life unveils new multi-million dollar advertising campaign across Canada

  • Signals a change in advertising strategy
  • Focuses on retirement products
  • Talks to end consumers
  • Launches a long-term program
  • Marks world first for Standard Life’s “Alive to Life” branding platform

MONTREAL, April 7 2008 – Standard Life launched today its first multi-million dollar pan-Canadian advertising campaign since 2005. The campaign is part of an integrated long-term communications program to strengthen the awareness of the Company in Canada which also includes sponsorships, promotional and public relations activities. “The Financial Realities of Canadians” campaign introduces a variety of print, outdoor and online ads aimed at consumers concerned with investment and retirement planning, and people responsible for group retirement plans. It focuses specifically on Standard Life’s primary individual and group retirement products and services.

“This is a major shift in our advertising strategy,” said Vincenzo Ciampi, Standard Life Vice-President of External Communications and Public Affairs. Our research confirmed that, to efficiently reach our objectives to increase awareness of Standard Life as a financial services company while generating interest in getting to know more about our expertise, products and services, we needed to be single-minded in terms of consumers we talk to, the needs we address and the solutions we propose.”

Mr. Ciampi added: “Standard Life continues to provide a wide array of retirement, investment and insurance products and services, but we want to leverage our long-standing expertise in the retirement area. This is a highly targeted campaign that was pre-tested earlier this year and resonated very well with our target groups. As we maintain our intermediated sales approach, I am convinced the new campaign will support our intermediaries in their sales efforts.”

This is Standard Life’s first consumer application in the world of its global branding platform “Alive to Life”. The positioning uses nuggets of truth to connect to financial needs that, in turn, are linked to financial solutions offered by Standard Life. The tone is conversational, natural, real, relevant and meaningful. It demonstrates that Standard Life’s expertise, products and services can help consumers at various stages in their life, and encourage them to open a dialogue with their financial advisor.

The new ads addressing Canadian consumers give voice to their concerns about investment and retirement planning. They convey insights about financial realities that are weighing on their minds, such as the impact of market volatility.

On the other hand, the ads addressing people responsible for retirement plans – or plan sponsors – are geared toward reminding them of the depth of Standard Life’s expertise as they continue to rely on benefits consultants and brokers for their strategic decisions regarding their company’s group plans.

The multi media campaign will be seen by more than 12 million Canadians in Standard Life’s four key markets – Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto and Montreal – from April to December 2008. It consists of print presence in major daily Canadian newspapers and business publications, billboards and online advertising.

A digital initiative is a major element of the campaign designed to serve as the online starting point for people interested in knowing more about Standard Life and its offering. It is dedicated to supporting the campaign’s key messages, through a microsite, search engine optimization, as well as pay-per-click and banner advertising.

The campaign was developed by Ogilvy Montreal which has been Standard Life’s agency of record in Canada since 2001.

About Standard Life

In 2008, Standard Life, the first life insurance company to transact business in Canada, marks its 175th year of operations. Standard Life plc is a major international financial services group headquartered in Scotland. It provides asset-managing services for retirement, investment and protection to some seven million customers globally. It counts over 10,000 employees and has offices in the United Kingdom, Canada, Ireland, Germany, Austria, India and China, including Hong Kong.

The Standard Life Assurance Company of Canada is Standard Life plc’s largest operation outside the U.K., with 1,900 employees based in Montreal and across Canada, serving more than 1.3 million Canadians, including group insurance and pension plan participants. (

Standard Life plc has approximately 1.5 million shareholders worldwide, including approximately 14,000 institutional and individual shareholders in Canada. It has been trading on the London Stock Exchange since The Standard Life Assurance Company demutualized in 2006. Standard Life plc is listed on the FTSE 100, Europe’s largest index, and on the FTSE4Good Index, which identifies companies adhering to globally recognized corporate responsibility standards. ( .