MediaWorks' 7 Days has a dead serious sponsor lined up for the 2019 season, with a collaboration with maverick life insurance company Partners Life resulting in some black comedy spots.
Partners Life and media agency MediaCom set out a brief that made clear their intention to set themselves apart from competitors by doing things differently, taking risks and disrupting the category.
MediaCom group business director Alice Franklin says Partners Life wasn't interested in a generic cookie cutter sponsorship solution.
"MediaWorks worked alongside MediaCom to recommend its comedy show 7 Days – a show that has traditionally been seen as an 'edgy option', especially with more conservative brand categories such as insurance," she says.
Part of the MediaCom strategy was to find ways to remove the negative stigma around talking about death by addressing the issue head-on in a humorous way.
The four sponsorship TVCs, which will play as the lead-in ads on 7 Days, show Jeremy Corbett and Dai Henwood at a very formal church funeral. The pair start strong but in each ad make poor-taste and inappropriate jokes that the fellow mourners don't appreciate.
The idea behind the sponsorship campaign follows on from the work Partners Life has done with Assignment in the 'Get Life Right' campaign. MediaWorks head of integration Alana O'Neill says one of the things people could get wrong in life is to get the cast of 7 Days to write a loved one's eulogy.
"Working with the 7 Days creative specifically, the reactions we got from people was a mixture of shock and laughter – usually at the same time. Seeing something bizarre happening in an environment that most people know as being extremely solemn really got that cut-through reaction. We knew that this kind of irreverent humour would resonate well with the 7 Days audience because, well, they're watching 7 Days."
The TVCs were created in-house by the MediaWorks integration creative team alongside the 7 Days writers and talent. The assets include a series of bespoke sponsorship billboards featuring the show's own talent and use 7 Days' particular brand of confronting humour. These complement the brand's TVCs currently on air created by Assignment.
The Partners Life partnership with 7 Days will run throughout the 2019 season.
Head of TV integration: Barnaby Rothwell
Sponsorship executive: Hayley Brebner
Group account director: Gareth McDonald
Creative director/director: Joshua Smith
Creative producer: Lauren McKinstry
Production coordinator: Lina Nothwang
Copywriters: Sam Smith & Camilla Martin
Motion graphics/grading: Reem Rassam
Graphic design: Yi Zhang
Production assistant: Jake Nuualiitia
General manager: Kim Ellet
Group business director: Alice Franklin
Planner/buyer: Henry Fitzgerald