SunLife Equity Release


Equity Release Guide

The launch of Equity Release has been and continues to be, a big focus for SunLife. To support their core launch activity on TV and in the press, they needed an engaging guide in online and offline formats to deliver standout in a crowded market.

The brief

SunLife challenged us to create the best guide in the market, something which would stand out from the more traditional and old-fashioned executions available from their competitors.  The guide also needed to have a quality look and feel with engaging content to reinforce SunLife’s 200-year heritage and help instil trust with their audience. It was clear that this needed to be out of the ordinary.

Finally, it needed to be informative and helpful so customers would want to keep it. The process behind Equity Release usually takes around 6 months to complete and so, the guide is a significant and retainable part of the customer journey.


The Equity Release market has more than doubled in the last two years with the value of quarterly lending in Q1 2018 up 25% year on year. In total, 27,000 policies were sold in 2016 for example and it’s expected this figure will reach 37,000 in 2019. On top of this, with the end of interest-only mortgages, it is likely to accelerate further. In fact, someone takes out equity release every 15 minutes!

SunLife’s audience is mainly 55 years+ home-owners with a property valued between £100k – £500k, though the core age group is 65 – 74 with the average customer being 71 years old. Within this group, they have identified three audience mindsets:

  • Givers  – who might give their children an early inheritance
  • Enhancers – who might wish to undertake home improvements to add value to their home
  • Maintainers – who could use the money tied up in their home to maintain their lifestyle nearing or in retirement.

Creative – Imagine If…

With a first round of varied creative routes, formats and stock exploration, the final creative concept was based around the idea of dreams and future aspirations, conveying lifestyle scenarios and shared moments with loved ones.

We used this positive mindset to position Equity Release as a means by which to live the retirement people deserve and imagine – whether this is going on a once in a lifetime trip, improving their home or simply doing more modest things every week that make them happy. Imagery explored a glimpse of shared personal moments in a mix of scenarios with a warm and expressive style to convey a feeling of energy and the idea of what could be possible.

Furthermore, with stripped back copy we were able to create clear space and breathable spreads. Not only does this look clean and beautiful, it makes the guide’s content easily digestible, flowing smoothly from start to finish.

Mock ups for the SunLife Equity Release guide


Equity Release inside spread


The brochure has been well received. The downloadable PDF lives on the website and the guide is being posted out to new enquiries. Given the long lead times in the Equity Release decision process, we were not given hard targets, however, the creative speaks for itself.

From a brand perspective, Equity Release has been an interesting product launch as it has marked the departure of the bold SunLife blue and cut out images to full bleed imagery and white layouts. Whilst still undoubtedly SunLife, the Brand toolkit has been used more sparingly for a distinct look and feel. And of course, the good news is that SunLife are hitting targets and interaction with their online calculator is up, helping to provide outbound calling opportunities. Long may this continue!