The ads, which are part of AXA's "cautious investments" campaign, aim to reflect the fact that independent financial advisers (IFAs) are having to deal with consumers who are increasingly worried and confused about the volatility of today's stock market.
The first of two press executions features a bear trap symbolising the pitfalls inherent in investment today. The trap is partly covered with a sticker listing the benefits of AXA's new Capital Protected Distribution Bond, and features the line: "Protect your clients from a grizzly market." This will be accompanied by a second execution along similar lines, entitled "polystyrene".
The ads, which target IFAs, will launch on 30 September and will appear in the specialist investment press. They will be supported by a direct mail drive.
The move is part of a wider campaign that will also focus on AXA's Distribution Bond and Defensive Bond offerings. The company is hoping that simple executions and a specific focus on product benefits will counter-balance the complexities of these products.
The ads were written by Chris Lapham and art directed by Deborah James.
Media buying is by Manning Gottlieb OMD.
The below-the-line campaign will be followed next month by the launch of a two-year series of above-the-line ads produced by TBWA/London, which will feature the new strapline: "You only have to AXA."