Meet the Marlowes

The Resonsibility Project from Liberty Mutual is a new campaign from Hill Holiday that rests on the shoulders of a fictional but believable family that’s faced with tough times and even tougher decisions.

Stuart Elliott says the commercials–directed by the film director Harmony Korine–present fraught moments in the lives of the Marlowes.
Paul G. Alexander, senior vice president and manager for communication services at Liberty Mutual in Boston says, “we’re trying to depict a real family, not a stylized one, and the real issues families are facing.”
Elliott notes:

Make-believe families in campaigns that unfold episodically have long been popular on Madison Avenue. The device, which echoes long-running series like “One Man’s Family,” “General Hospital” and “Dallas,” is meant to soften a sales pitch by looking like programming rather than advertising.

What’s interesting to me about this is I’m a big advocate of “Content instead of Advertising.” Yet, this is a strong argument for “Content as Advertising.” Either way, it’s a needle mover for the business of branded storytelling.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.