LifeDirect is New Zealand’s leading life insurance aggregation website. For almost 10 years, the face of the brand has been its obscure mascot, Simon the Sloth — a lethargic animated character who, not surprisingly, had lost relevance. We were tasked with reinvigorating the brand and driving leads, awareness, and web traffic among New Zealanders ages 25 to 35, a demographic with an ever-increasing responsibility to insure themselves for the benefit of their dependents.
But this audience viewed death as a distant, irrelevant issue.
As a real-time demonstration of the unpredictability of life, and the significant benefits of life insurance, we killed our longstanding mascot, Simon.
The next day, we ran full-page obituaries, announcing that Simon had failed to specify his insurance beneficiaries. Kiwis who ‘knew’ Simon were invited to share stories about their relationship in order to receive a share.