John Hancock Mutual Funds Extends Successful Advertising Campaign Through Year-End 2011

-- Results to date show advisers are 50 percent more likely to recommend John Hancock Mutual Funds to clients

-- One-third of advisers now have a more positive impression of John Hancock Funds

-- "Who Knew" campaign showcases John Hancock Funds' four- and five-star Morningstar® rated funds; leverages the iconic, trusted John Hancock brand

Sep 26, 2011, 13:49 ET from John Hancock Funds

BOSTON, Sept. 26, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- John Hancock Funds is extending its highly successful "Who Knew" advertising campaign through the end of 2011, with ads on TV, and in print and online media. The campaign originally launched in February of this year.

Designed to increase awareness of the breadth and quality of John Hancock's mutual fund family among investors and financial advisers, the "Who Knew" campaign leverages the strength of the iconic John Hancock brand.  The key message of the campaign is that, while John Hancock is widely recognized as a provider of life insurance, annuities and long-term care insurance, it is also a leading mutual fund company offering four- and five-star funds, as rated by Morningstar®, concentrated in large asset-gathering categories that are often cornerstones of investors' portfolios.  

"We have been very pleased and excited about the effectiveness of 'Who Knew,'" said Keith F. Hartstein, President & CEO of John Hancock Funds. "And we look forward to sharing more 'Who Knew' facts in the weeks and months ahead. For example, most financial advisers and investors probably aren't aware that John Hancock, when including all annuity, life, pension and mutual funds assets, is the nation's largest provider of Target Risk (Lifestyle) portfolios, eclipsing such household names as Fidelity and Vanguard in assets under management."

Mr. Hartstein added:  "Our research shows that financial advisers and investors are hearing our message – that we are delivering better performance results across a wider spectrum of fund offerings than ever before – and they are following up on that message, as evidenced by our record sales last year and continued strong sales momentum in 2011."

The 'look and feel' of "Who Knew" is similar to parent company John Hancock's award-winning "Cursor" ad campaign, which reflects how prevalent it is today for conversations to take place via Instant Messaging on a personal computer or mobile device.  In one print spot, the first message reads:  "Mutual Funds from John Hancock? Who knew?' and the typed comment is:  "Well, Morningstar® knew." Another ad begins:  "You probably don't think of mutual funds when you think of John Hancock," followed by:  "See why you should."  The print and online ads show the messages in colored dialog boxes, while the television depiction of "Who Knew" is hushed, with the only sound a tapping on a keypad.

"In post-campaign tracking studies, we saw a 50 percent increase in advisers who said they would recommend John Hancock Funds to new or current clients," said Carey Foran Hoch, Senior Vice President and head of marketing for John Hancock Funds. "Total visitors to our John Hancock Funds web site increased nearly ten percent during the initial phase of the campaign, compared to the prior six months.  Overall, more than a third of advisers responding said they had a more favorable impression of John Hancock Funds as a result of the ad campaign."

"Regarding actions taken, we saw a more than 188 percent increase in advisers who called us, with 57 percent recommending our funds to clients, and 54 percent conducting online research about John Hancock Funds," Ms. Hoch added.

The fall media plan will run through mid-December, focusing on high profile sporting events. TV ads will appear during key college football matchups on CBS and ABC, as well as on cable networks including ESPN and ESPN2.

The "Who Knew" campaign will have additional visibility on financial cable networks CNBC and Bloomberg, and advisor-focused websites including Morningstar.com and TheStreet.com.  Print ads featuring the campaign will appear in Financial Planning, Investment Advisor, Plan Sponsor and Registered Rep.  Online ads will be featured on: ESPN.com, Forbes.com, Morningstar.com, SmartMoney.com, SportsIllustrated.com, TheStreet.com, and WallStreetJournal.com.

Boston-based Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos created the campaign for John Hancock Funds.

About John Hancock Funds

The Boston-based mutual fund business unit of John Hancock Financial, John Hancock Funds manages more than $71.5 billion in open-end funds, closed-end funds, private accounts, retirement plans and related party assets for individual and institutional investors as at June 30, 2011.    

About John Hancock Financial and Manulife Financial Corporation

John Hancock Financial is a unit of Manulife Financial Corporation, a leading Canadian-based financial services group serving millions of customers in 21 countries and territories worldwide. Operating as Manulife Financial in Canada and in most of Asia, and primarily as John Hancock in the United States, Manulife Financial Corporation offers clients a diverse range of financial protection products and wealth management services through its extensive network of employees, agents and distribution partners. For more than 120 years, clients have looked to Manulife for strong, reliable, trustworthy and forward-thinking solutions for their most significant financial decisions. Funds under management by Manulife Financial and its subsidiaries were Cdn$481 billion (US$498 billion) as at June 30, 2011.  

Manulife Financial Corporation trades as 'MFC' on the TSX, NYSE and PSE, and under '945' on the SEHK. Manulife Financial may be found on the Internet at www.manulife.com.

The John Hancock unit, through its insurance companies, comprises one of the largest life insurers in the United States. John Hancock offers a broad range of financial products and services, including life insurance, fixed and variable annuities, fixed products, mutual funds, 401(k) plans, long-term care insurance, college savings, and other forms of business insurance. Additional information about John Hancock may be found at www.johnhancock.com.  

For each fund with at least a 3-year history, Morningstar calculates a Morningstar rating based on a Morningstar Risk-Adjusted Return that accounts for variation in a fund's monthly performance (including effects of sales charges, loads, and redemption fees), placing more emphasis on downward variations and rewarding consistent performance. The top 10% of funds in each category, the next 22.5%, 35%, 22.5% and bottom 10% receive 5, 4, 3, 2, or 1 star(s), respectively. (Each share class is counted as a fraction of 1 fund within this scale and rated separately, which may cause slight variations in the distribution percentages.) The Overall Morningstar rating for a fund is derived from a weighted average of the performance associated with its 3-, 5-, and 10-year (if applicable) Morningstar rating metrics. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. © 2011 Morningstar, Inc. All rights reserved.

SOURCE John Hancock Funds



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