An insurer is using a large, hairy primate to do battle with the mute button.

AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company, New York, a unit of AXA S.A., Paris, is premiering four 15-second commercials aimed at registered investment advisors and Americans nearing retirement.

The commercials, which will appear on business news cable channels, are designed to deliver their message even if viewers have turned off the sound, AXA Equitable says.

The star of the commercials, an 800-pound gorilla, uses techniques such as knocking on the screen to try to get the viewer’s attention.

“Ready to retire?” the gorilla asks in one commercial. “Stop ignoring me. A variable annuity from AXA Equitable can give you guaranteed income for life with the potential for equity growth. But what do I know? I’m just the 800- pound gorilla in the room.”

The TV commercials will appear on MSNBC, CNBC, Bloomberg and CNN from now until the end of the year, in a rotation with older 30-second spots, AXA Equitable says.

The campaign also includes print ads and Web ads.

Merkley & Partners, New York, developed the campaign.