THE PHILIPPINE BRANCH of Canadian insurance company and financial services provider, Manulife, has formally welcomed actor/singer James Reid as the newest addition to its stable of endorsers under the “Start your Story” campaign.

“We started working with James [Reid] when we started ‘Manulife Move’… the program was high energy and high-impact and we want someone with that kind of energy and youth and vibrance… and it was so well received,” Melissa Henson, chief marketing officer of Manulife Philippines, told BusinessWorld during the launch on Sept. 14 at the Brewery in Bonifacio Global City.

After getting Mr. Reid onboard the “Move” campaign, the company decided to include the actor in its long-running campaign, “Tell your Story” which already featured actor Richard Yap and actress/singer Sarah Geronimo.

While Mr. Yap was chosen to target potential customers who have started their own families, and Ms. Geronimo is meant to appeal to those who would want to fully independent, Mr. Reid was specifically chosen to attract “millennials” or young professionals in order to encourage them to start investing already.

“[The market is] a group of people who wouldn’t necessarily think of insurance because they’re so young and it’s not really top-of-mind at that point in time. But really, we are hoping to be able to reach out and encourage everyone to start thinking of their future early. It’s never too early to start investing,” Ms. Henson said.

Mr. Reid is one-half of the popular showbiz love team “JaDine” along with Nadine Lustre. Ms. Henson said that there are currently no plans of adding Ms. Lustre to the mix as she described the company’s endorser pool as being “in a good place, right now.”

The “Start your Story” campaign, which began September last year, focuses on “encouraging people to take the first step to make their dreams come true,” according to a previous company press release. Ms. Henson noted that the campaign has been very successful for the company.

“One solid effect that’s measurable is that we’ve seen a pretty good increase in our brand awareness,” she said before adding that their customers “used to be older and wealthier. Older like 40s and 50s.”

“That’s the traditional [market for insurance] before. Now we’re shifting to [younger ages]. We’re seeing people in their 30s and 40s,” she said. — Zsarlene B. Chua