What happens when you get sick and can’t work? A gang of professional thieves find out in this cautionary tale for Partners Life via Special


Partners Life has launched a new campaign ‘The Heist’, which is the latest iteration of its ‘Get Life Right’ brand platform developed by Special.


The campaign highlights the importance of living life with a plan b in place. Being unable to work due to illness or injury is not a position many people picture themselves in, yet 170,000 people stopped working due to injury or illness in the year ending June 2020 – approximately 6% of the total employed population in New Zealand.

The campaign highlights the real consequences of not having income protection cover and provokes our audience to think of income protection as a plan b, rather than facing the alternative, like we see here, and being forced into taking desperate measures to stay afloat.

Says Mika Ballantyne, marketing communications manager at Partners Life: “As a nation we are underinsured. Many New Zealanders go through life hoping for the best, but what’s really best is having a plan b. Income insurance provides you with financial support if you are unable to work due to injury or illness, so you don’t find yourself in the position of the poor (once rich) man in this campaign.”

The film was brought to life by production company DIVISION and director Sanjay De Silva. Better known for a vibrant visual style, De Silva enjoyed trying his hand at a darker tone.

Says Genevieve Triquet, executive producer at DIVISION: “It was an honour for DIVISION to get the chance to work with Partners Life – a client who embraces creativity and strong ideas.”

Collaborating closely with the creative team at Special, director De Silva brought his unique voice to the script, with meticulously crafted detail and playfulness. The heist genre is full of unavoidable clichés – from the neo-noir lighting, the tense pulsing soundtrack – so instead of shying away from them, he sought to embrace them to heighten the rug pull in the script.

The hero film is accompanied by a 15” execution that sees the thieves pondering their own income protection, and the campaign is rounded out with OOH and radio pointing out the lifestyle changes necessary if you don’t have income protection insurance as your plan b.

Says Steve Hansen, creative director, Special: “We wanted to plant the seed of income protection by flipping a familiar genre in a way our audience wouldn’t see coming. A bit like illness or injury.”

Client – Partners Life
Kris Ballantyne – Chief Commercial Officer
Tina Morgan – General Manager Marketing
Mika Ballantyne – Marketing Communications Manager
Anna Bycroft – Senior Marketing Specialist

Agency – Special
Tony Bradbourne – CEO, Creative Chairman
Lisa Fedyszyn – Chief Creative Officer
Jonathan McMahon – Chief Creative Officer
Steve Hansen – Creative Director
Matt Simpkins – Group Creative Director
Nicole Scopes – Integrated Producer
Rory Gallery – Chief Strategy Officer
Jolene D’Souza – Group Strategy Director
Callum Walker – Head of Business Management
Emma Richardson – Group Business Director
Ravina Raju – Business Director
Hamish Kuka – Editor
Gavin Le Claire – Studio Manager
Chad Kukahiko – Senior Production Designer
Julius Bellett – Studio Artwork

Production Company – DIVISION
Director: Sanjay De Silva
MD I Executive Producer: Genevieve Triquet
Producer: Christiana Roberts
DOP: Max Walter
Production Designer: Imo Walsh
Post House: The Editors
Post-Producer: Maxine Zanoni
Offline Editor: Leila Gaabi
Casting Director: Nick Hamon Casting & Citizen Jane Casting
Online: White Chocolate
Colourist: Ben Eagleton

Sound: Liquid Studios
Composer: Danny Cardozo