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Manulife tickles Philippines’ funny bone in ‘Stand Up’ spot

Insurance and stand-up comedy may not be the most obvious bedfellows, but J. Walter Thompson Manila’s ad to celebrate Manulife’s 110 years in the Philippines does just that.

Featuring real-life Filipino comic Victor Anastacio, and loosely based on his own struggles, the online spot tells the tale of how he left banking (“by choice,” he says, adding: “my boss’ choice when she fired me”) and began performing stand-up. At the time, his mother was skeptical but his dad backed his son.

The ‘Stand Up’ spot is filled with one-liners about Anastacio’s family, including his siblings, one a lawyer and the other a doctor. “So you have a doctor’s appointment, an attorney’s appointment,” he says, adding: “and a disappointment.”

The comic’s tribute to his dad tugs at heart strings and also makes you laugh out loud, and ultimately, underscores the importance of relationships.

“We’re in a business that is largely built on relationships – with our clients, our insurance advisors, our employees. So we wanted to launch a campaign that celebrates the many relationships that that allowed Manulife to serve Filipinos for 100 years,” said Melissa Henson, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of Manulife Philippines.

‘Stand Up’ which began running online May 9, has reached 5.3 million people, garnered 2.1 million views and attracted 2,700 comments, 18,000 shares, and 43,000 likes.

“We’re grateful to have brave clients allowing us to do this one. It gave the agency team, the director and the production team space to try a few things and make the fun happen,” said Dave Ferrer, Chief Creative Officer of J. Walter Thompson Manila.

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