Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Hiscox...premium stuff


Insurance ads...urrrrrgh!
New(ish) Hiscox commercial... hmmm.
As in hmmm good, rather than hmmm I don't know.
And definitely a timely departure from its over-intellectualised press and poster campaign which was often negatively conceived: along the "One size doesn't fit all"...."There is no such thing as Mr Average" etc approach.

All red type set against black backgrounds, colours not known for their optimism.
At c £2000 a pop for a poster most of that money was mainly  money lost.

Not so the new TV campaign.

It's decently if quietly produced and won't win any creative awards despite the hiring of top director and smooth voice over.

But I will be surprised if it doesn't do extremely well for Hiscox and win a load of acclaim within the industry.

Hiscox has done a number of things very smartly in this ad.

Firstly, at a technical level, it combines a consumer and commercial insurance message successfully in one execution, so it covers off its twin targets.

More importantly though it has a strong tribal leader message ( see

This ad gently persuades the viewer that the world of insurance owes them a different deal, a deal based on trust.On someone's word being his bond. On being accessible. On offering respect, understanding and "honour" to those who join up to this tribe.Of leading its followers ( in this case a step back) to a place that the rest of the insurance world ( and the world generally) has lost via  superficiality, inaccessibility, smug self- satisfaction, automation and poor customer service.

One very much gets the view that a claim with Hiscox will be sympathetically and successfully resolved, without quibble, and that as a claimant you'll talk to a reasonably trained human being rather than a call centre on auto-prompt.

I might just test this theory, as I very much hope the reality is as positive as it says on the can.

Hiscox correctly judges the "Continuum"that I propose that helps put a brand message into context by identifying how it fits in people's past, present and future. In this case, by targeting  middle to up market consumers and  businesses, it correctly pinpoints a nostalgic view of a time when a handshake mattered and urges an emotional belief in this ( possibly mythical) time.

Compare this commercial with the inanity of Aviva with its disastrous Paul Whitehouse series.
All  frivolity and frippery, it is the antithesis of what an insurance brand should be offering: Aviva has literally disguised its offering under a comedian.
It has no releveance to its commercial interests nor its UK or global image.

What message of assurance does the geeky Whitehouse give with his teeth and wigs and witicisms?
What is Aviva doing showing him using his metal detector on....a cow pat? It is literally bull shit.
Look at the Aviva share price: also in the ordure.
The irony is that this campaign will probably be showered in creative awards, but if  I were Whitehouse's agent I'd be spreading my net at the moment as Aviva must wake up soon.

Ironically, Aviva is a descendant of the company that gave us the only really great UK insurance campaign: Commercial Union, who didn't make a "drama out of a crisis".( Pedants rightly say this should have been the other way around "We won't make a crisis out of a drama" but it makes no real difference as it is an emotional claim).

The Hiscox campaign is not in this league but they  have stolen the clothes off the back of  those who originally owned them.

Good luck to them, I say, you wear them well.

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