AAG Unveils Newest Reverse Mortgage Commercial

In its newest national TV campaign, American Advisors Group (AAG) brings several noted academic professionals into the conversation on reverse mortgages and retirement planning.

The new 120-second TV spot, which is the company’s first commercial following the death of longtime AAG spokesman, former U.S. Senator Fred Thompson, depicts the use of reverse mortgages as a viable retirement planning tool.

“The new AAG commercial sheds light on how reverse mortgage loans are becoming widely accepted by academics and experts as a versatile financial solution to help seniors achieve retirement security,” said AAG Chief Creative Officer Teague McGrath in a written statement. “At AAG our mission is to help educate consumers on the advantages of this powerful tool, and the experts’ confidence in the product provides valuable third-party credibility.”


The spot features noted academics David W. Johnson, Ph.D., associate professor of finance at Maryville University in St. Louis; and Barbara Howard, MBA, finance, MA, gerontology and adjunct professor at University of Bridgeport in Connecticut—each of whom emphasize the importance of a reverse mortgage loan as a flexible financial solution during a time when traditional sources of retirement income may not provide enough financial stability for today’s retirees.

“I think we’re facing a crisis,” Johnson says in the commercial.

“Two-thirds of American workers are saying they are not confident they will have enough money to live comfortably in retirement,” adds Howard.

Both Johnson and Howard are just two examples of outside industry professionals who have increasingly begun to take a closer look at how reverse mortgages can effectively fit into the retirement planning puzzle in recent months.

“I thought it would be wonderful if people could convert the equity they had in their homes into some vehicle to help fund their retirement and help fund long-term care expenses,” Howard says in the commercial. “Well, little did I know that the product already existed, and it was called a reverse mortgage.”

The TV spot also references the most popular discussion topic that has been garnering attention from the financial planning community: how homeowners can use a reverse mortgage standby line of credit when they need it most.

“I think there are so many different creative opportunities that people could use a reverse mortgage for that they haven’t even though of,” Johnson says. “I really think it [reverse mortgage] needs to be part of everybody’s retirement plan.”

The commercial is airing now and will run across cable and national networks, including ABC, NBC and CBS over the next quarter.

Written by Jason Oliva

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    • Ms. Hipp,

      Most likely that day will come when the HUD production report shows that H4P has significantly more than a couple of hundred endorsements each month. Ad time is not cheap and the Traditional HECM market has a lot of room to grow. H4P had less than 2,500 endorsements last fiscal year and that was the best year yet for H4P!

      H4P may have about the same profit on a per unit basis as other HECMs but so far the demand is de minimis. So why put money into ads where demand is so low?

      Don’t be misled by those who tell you H4P is a sleeping giant and go through math contortions trying to convince US, the originators, that the product will grow because of such a large market. Just ask for one thing — empirical evidence of that happening at any time and most importantly where is that demand NOW?

      If all of these math contortions panned out then we would have hundreds of thousands of endorsements this fiscal year just based on the over 29.2 million Baby Boomers who have turned 62 since January 1, 2008. Math alone cannot create demand for H4P. It is now getting to be a tired old story.

  • I think the new TV spot is a great one. However, I will agree with my colleague Melinda Hipp, no mention of the H4P program.

    The H4P in my opinion is still our sleeping giant if approached properly!

    However, getting back to the TV spot, as good as it is, there will be no replacement for Fred Thompson!!!!!

    John A. Smaldone

    This is the expressed opinion of John A. Smaldone only and does not represent an opinion of Willow Bend Mortgage or their affiliates.

    • John,

      The issue with H4P is why divide the message? So few understand HECMs that this must be the first and only message in a short but terribly expensive TV ad especially with the high ad prices in a presidential election year.

      It will not be until the end of the decade before H4P endorsements will get to 5,000 endorsements per year IF then. How can any lender justify spending much if anything on a H4P TV ad campaign until H4P has proven and substantially more demand.

      H4P as a sleeping giant is the talk of those who lack accountability. If it is a sleeping giant that would be self evident but other than contorting and manipulating some numbers there is no way to even demonstrate a somewhat possible scenario that H4P might be a sleeping giant. There is no way to prove it.

      Let’s not get caught up in meaningless labeling. If I was a lender, I would not even think of putting H4P marketing into a TV ad until total proven endorsements are at least 20,000 per year.

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