Friday, September 29, 2006

John Hancock, Unique and Meaningful to Generic and Mundane

John Hancock is changing its marketing campaign...but why? They're changing their tagline from "Insurance for the unexpected. Investment for the opportunities," to "The Future is Yours." Holy crap, are you kidding me??

C'mon JH, you can't be serious. Talk about running toward differentiation, then doing a 180 and sprinting in the opposite direction. Why would you change a campaign ("fix it") that probably isn't broken ("if it ain't broke")?

What I get from this is that John Hancock is totally abandoning a tagline and strategy that actually says something - what they offer - to people in a "real-life," clear and catchy way. And in turn, they're coming up with a generic tagline and strategy that any XYZ company could use. "The Future is Yours" says nothing to me, except "Hey, I'm generic, boring and unmemorable." The future ultimately is nobody's, it's just the future. Your future is yours, but not the future. That belongs to all of us, including those not yet born. I think a better alternative would have at least been "Your Future, Our Support," or something like that. But I honestly don't think the new tagline speaks to consumers on any kind of emotional or rational level. Even Nike's "Just Do It" tagline is simple, yet powerful. It basically says, no matter what excuses you have, just get out there and perform...we have the products to help you do that. As for John Hancock, they have the services and products to help improve your future, but that's not really what the tagline says.

I could be completely wrong and this may be a great change for JH, but only time will tell...about 10 years or so.

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