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By Audrey Kemp | Junior Reporter

September 8, 2022 | 4 min read

‘The great realization’ is that ‘someday’ is today, so we should stop dreaming and start doing, says Northwestern Mutual.

Turbulent times remind people of what is most important to them, and financial stability can empower them to make positive changes sooner rather than later. This is the key message behind Northwestern Mutual’s new ‘The great realization’ campaign.

‘The great realization,’ which goes live today, builds upon Northwestern Mutual’s ‘Spend Your Life Living’ campaign, which was first unveiled in 2017. The new spots immerse the viewer in the stories of four individuals whose priorities fall into sharp focus, prompting them to rethink their lives and pursue what matters most. For one woman, this is opening up her own restaurant. For another, it’s about finally meeting distant relatives. Independent creative company and agency of record Mirimar handled.

The campaign is inspired not only by recent events but also by a survey the company fielded in July that included 1,000 Americans aged 26 to 57. The survey’s findings underscore an overwhelming desire in Americans to earnestly pursue their dreams now, instead of waiting for that elusive ‘someday.’ Yet financial insecurity stands in the way of going after what’s most important.

Per the survey, nearly 80% of millennials and gen Xers are planning at least one major life change in the next two years. These include traveling for an extended period, purchasing a dream home, growing their family and starting a passion project. At the same time, roughly 70% worry that if they don’t start acting on their life goals within the next year, they might never get around to them – and about three in five respondents cited finances as the biggest impediment in pursuing those goals.

“We’ve all lived through an unprecedented number of challenges these last two years, from the 2020 pandemic to political instability and economic volatility – all of which have left people feeling uncertain about the future and depriving themselves of what we want and need,” said Paul Barthelemy, senior director of brand management and advertising at Northwestern Mutual. “At the same time, there has also been a collective awakening, a sense of clarity through this chaos, that compels people to question what’s really important to them and their need to go after their goals right now rather than later.”

Another critical part of ‘The great realization’ is a partnership with New York Times best-selling author and happiness expert Gretchen Rubin, who plans to release exclusive content on her Happier app, social media and blog about the synergy between financial wellness and personal wellness. Rubin and Northwestern Mutual will also co-host an Instagram Live series called ‘Happier Hours,’ which will spotlight the stories of real people who have improved their overall happiness through personal life changes.

Campaign content will run across TV, digital and social media platforms starting today and throughout 2023.

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