Direct Line Group rebooted its flagship brand as the ultimate ‘Fixer’. We took this concept beyond the world of insurance, helping to fix the things that go wrong in people’s everyday lives. Direct Line reversed its long-term decline, returning to growth two years after the campaign launched.
Price comparison sites had left Direct Line in a fix.
Price comparison sites had revolutionised insurance, becoming the ‘new-normal’ for consumers. But these sites increased transaction costs, reduced brand loyalty and commoditised the product. All insurers were affected, but DL suffered more than most – the brand didn’t feature on price comparison sites, and quotes and sales looked to be in terminal decline.
Position Direct Line as the ultimate ‘fixer’, in insurance and beyond.
Direct Line rebooted as a ‘fixer’ – the insurer that would work hardest to put things right in the event of a claim. This idea was infused all aspects of the business, from call-centres to proposition development. Saatchis created advertising featuring cinema’s ultimate fixer – Pulp Fiction’s Winston Wolf – promoting DL’s new propositions. But people are only interested in insurance when they need to buy a policy or make a claim. To give the brand the best chance of succeeding, we needed to make DL’s positioning as the ultimate fixer relevant to everyone. So we took ‘fixing’ beyond the world of insurance, into people’s everyday lives, to make the brand resonate in popular culture.
Scale at launch, insights from search, and fixing partnerships.
To drive scale at launch, we ran different ads in consecutive breaks in the opening show of the new X-Factor season, alongside cinema, making the most of our filmic creative asset. This drove early buzz for the campaign, with DL trending on Twitter.
Following the launch, we used search volumes to find the everyday problems that people wanted solutions to – for example, dealing with red wine stains. We created videos featuring Winston Wolf showing how to solve these problems, distributing them on YouTube (1.7m views).
Our ongoing TV activity was phased according to demand, with day-of-week and week-of-month weighted according to insurance search volumes.
We worked with The Guardian to create Fixology, a content partnership which ran for two years featuring 100 smart fixes to everyday problems. In year two, we worked with Unity, creating an initiative called #DirectFix. Social listening revealed members of the public tweeting about their everyday problems – we surprised them with a delightful ‘fix’. For example, we sent a lady who’d broken her heel a brand new pair of Jimmy Choos.
From sales decline to unprecedented growth.
Hall And Partners measured an increase of 22% for those agreeing with the key brand reboot statement “they take care of your insurance so you can go on with your life” in Sep 2015 vs the period before the reboot.
Direct Line became the most-preferred insurance brand again after one year of the campaign.
Whilst marketing budgets reduced between 2014 and 2016, DL’s quote volumes were back in growth by 2015.
By Feb 2016 we had sustained positive YOY growth in car insurance quotes for 12 consecutive months.