After having spent years as the face of reverse mortgages for several companies in the industry, the Robert Wagner campaign is finally getting a makeover. This time, Wagner will appear in TV commercials for Urban Financial Group along with his adult daughter, Katie, who has held several TV and film roles, including some with her father. Another new spot focuses on enjoying life—both launch today.
The campaign, formerly owned by Guardian First Funding, which was acquired by Urban’s owner, Knight Capital, showed signs of a reboot earlier this year, upon the acquisition announcement. With the deal closed and seven months of creative work on what will total five new spots, the new campaigns will be hitting the airwaves.
“We interviewed hundreds of previous customers for common themes,” says Jason Levy, head of Urban Financial’s retail division. From those interviews, Levy says, Urban identified two main themes.
“One, borrowers involve family and children. That’s why we did the one with Katie. We’re sending the message that the family can make the decision together.” Second, Levy says, is the improvement in lifestyle that a reverse mortgage offers.
Three additional spots will roll out over the next 30 to 60 days, and will also offer different messages. The new campaign not only serves Urban’s retail brand, but should also play to its wholesale channel of brokers and branches, Levy says.
Exploring new avenues, including the introduction of an adult child into the commercial, is something other lenders have focused on recently as well. American Advisors group launched a new campaign focusing on testimonials earlier this year, and One Reverse Mortgage introduced former I Dream of Jeannie star Barbara Eden into its commercial mix, marking the first major female star to take her place on the reverse mortgage scene.
Lenders say the approach may change in some ways, but that education is still paramount in reverse mortgage TV advertising.
“The educational concept will never change. It’s important to educate first and evaluate whether it is the right choice,” Levy says.
Urban will also ramp up other advertising efforts to round out the new campaign.
“We’re also going to be focusing on building search engine optimization and a few other direct-to-consumer concepts so we can hit on all cylinders,” he says.
View the new commercials on YouTube.
Written by Elizabeth Ecker