Innovative content integration sees Special bring back the dead

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AUCKLAND, Today: Health insurance provider Partners Life has partnered with Special NZ – in collaboration with South Pacific Pictures’ murder mystery series The Brokenwood Mysteries – to deliver a disruptive advertising campaign, The Last Performance, challenging Kiwis to rethink preconceptions around life insurance. 

Over the past six weeks, Partners Life ads have aired at the end of each episode of the Kiwi whodunnit drama, using the characters and plotlines to integrate the storyline into the ads.

Following episode one, for example, before the credits rolled, the 30” spot aired featuring Kiwi actress Meryl Main, who played Janis, the first murder victim of the series. 

As Janis’s corpse comes back to life, she looks down at the camera to lament the unexpected nature of death, saying, “Well this is unexpected … what are my boys going to do without their mummy now – sorry lads there’s no life insurance policy”.

The spot ends by encouraging viewers to ‘plan ahead and get life right’ with Partners Life.

Throughout the series, similar tongue-in-cheek ads from Partners Life aired, with a bespoke film created to play at the end of each episode in the six-part series. 

The ad series has been brought to life by Special and aims to bring about a new awareness and consideration for the importance of life insurance and jolt New Zealanders out of apathy and into action. 

Partners Life MD Naomi Ballantyne says the creative and humorous approach to an often-overlooked and sometimes morbid topic like life insurance is just what is needed to grab Kiwis’ attention. 

“The team at South Pacific Pictures were so collaborative, and we appreciate the opportunity to jump on the back of this extremely popular show.”

“New Zealand is, unfortunately, one of the most under-insured countries in the world. We want to change that and help Kiwis to understand just how important life insurance is. We know there’s a lot of apathy when it comes to insurance, so were eager to ensure this campaign was one that stuck with audiences.

The Last Performance is a subversive and convention challenging campaign, using humour and integration to disrupt standard advertising in the insurance industry and encourage viewers to engage with the content.”

Special NZ ECD Lisa Fedyszyn says the campaign was an exciting one to work on.

“Partners Life is always challenging industry norms and taking an innovative approach to everything it does – and its approach to advertising is no different.

“This is an idea that died and came back to life, about characters who die and come back to life, but it was important to find the right series to partner with.

“The team at South Pacific Pictures were so collaborative and inviting, and we appreciate the opportunity to jump on the back of this extremely popular show, to help New Zealanders see the importance of living with foresight rather than hindsight.”

The Brokenwood Mysteries is available to stream at TVNZ On Demand.


Client: Partners Life
Agency: Special
Production Company: South Pacific Pictures
Director: Mike Smith
Post Production:  Images & Sound
Music & Sound House: Images & Sound

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