Paul Whitehouse Aviva Life Assurance Advert

Life Assurance From Aviva

Filed under: Advertising Idiots,Hidden meanings — Carl Hepburn @ 12:27 am February 3, 2011

I admire Paul Whitehouse immensely as a comedian. He is great when working with Harry Enfield and a master of comedy characters. Even the previous Aviva adverts haven’t been the most annoying out there but there is something wrong with the new life assurance advert which I find depressing and mawkish every time I see it.

If you haven’t seen it, a typical advertising family are packing to go on holiday. There is the usual chaos as the family decide what to pack and make sure they have packed everything they will need. It could be a scene of normal domestic life and then the daughter says to her mother, “It won’t be the same without dad.” and then you realise that the father is there only in spirit.
Some of the commentators on YouTube say it made them cry but I just thought how it made me think about my own mortality and how transient is the strip of light between two infinite slabs of darkness is. But this just put a downer on my day. The other interpretation is of course: dad’s dead but at least we get a massive pay out so we can go on holiday.

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  • Oh I agree, this ad is pretty damn depressing! And the sentiments are a bit money grabbing as you’ve said 🙁

    Comment by AdvertLover — February 23, 2011 @ 8:03 pm

  • Yeah, good comments, but I would definitely bang the mum!!

    Comment by John Mayfield — February 24, 2011 @ 8:15 pm

  • What? John! – go and find some other place for your stupid comments!
    This ad has always been a bit, well ‘off’ somehow, and it does seem to be Mr Whitehouse who lends it the weirdness that exists. I laughed as he was the piper on one leg, falling over – this latest one though, here we go again, a UK of legislation-culture, a Uk of grabbers and self-satisfiers, even on the proceeds of dad’s forethought. Depressing.

    Comment by Steve — March 24, 2011 @ 9:17 pm

  • It’s a great ad and very clever. Let’s face it, people need to be convinced / shocked into spending £20 a month on life cover rather than a round of drinks at a pub. Like all insurance it’s a waste of money and boring unless someone needs it!

    Comment by Ray — April 2, 2011 @ 2:38 pm

  • Yeah so i watch too much tv.

    The Aviva series of ads have been quite good on the whole I would say. PAul Whitehouse is a legend of course and counts Robert De Niro amongst admirers of his acting.His using these ada as a showcase for his talents is the only way i can explain this particular installment which i was taken aback by. The other ones are funny or quite funny, this one isn’t even trying.. it’s a sentimental, ‘moving’ piece in which he appears as a ghost stalking his financially secure family.. now for my money the insurance industry is as bad as the banking industry. In fact eventually they are inseperable, in many ways they are worse as they play on peoples’ fears to make money and when their policies are claimed on they never end up giving what they promised… an aside..

    The ad is baffling and the company are awful and I worry for Paul Whitehouse.

    Comment by Rob — April 3, 2011 @ 12:37 pm

  • omg this is soooo sad , i never relised the father was a spirt i thought the dad was maby not going with then due to work etc.

    Comment by Alana — May 24, 2011 @ 9:58 pm

  • Yep. ‘fraid so.

    Comment by Terry Vision — May 24, 2011 @ 11:36 pm

  • Just realised the reason I never saw this is because I’ve stumbled across a year old blog post. Ah well. Here now – unlike ‘Dad’. Unfortunately, I just thought of Victor Lewis-Smiths ‘Honest TV Obituary’ when I saw this. Don’t know why…

    Comment by Compton Mo'Fo — April 14, 2012 @ 1:50 pm

  • Where’s my post gone?

    Comment by GLD — July 23, 2012 @ 4:00 am

  • Hi there world,

    I think I have a half decent idea about advertising life assurance. Anyone interested? Regards

    Comment by Michael Doran — September 7, 2012 @ 4:35 pm

  • Well I work for one of Aviva’s competitors, and I thought this was the best effort in the Paul Whitehouse series. Makes a totally serious point that people need to hear even if they don’t want to hear.
    Yes life is transient, most of us will reach old age but sadly a few won’t, and money is often short for their families because they were only insured enough to pay off the mortgage.

    Comment by Mal — January 19, 2013 @ 11:29 pm

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