When Direct Line launched the follow-up to its hugely successful ‘The Fixer’ campaign in March, it could not have known that less than three weeks later the country would go into lockdown.
Looking back, Direct Line Group’s brands director Kerry Chilvers describes it as the “greatest launch plan that never saw the light of day”. With such a big shift in creative from Harvey Keitel’s The Fixer to superhero studded ‘We’re on it’, the brand knew it needed a big launch to land the idea with consumers.
“We had a big multimedia launch plan, including lots of big outdoor in city centres and transport media, and cinema, and other places that suddenly had fewer eyeballs and no reach,” she recalls.
“As much as the timing was unfortunate – [I call it] the greatest launch plan that never saw the light of day – it was also fortunate because if we’d been planning a month later that’s probably when you would be in a phase of ‘is it the right time?’.”
What was never really considered was dropping the team’s focus on its long-term strategy and brand. The move to ‘We’re on it’ was a deliberate shift from Direct Line to focus more on brand than product, taking lessons from six years of The Fixer about the effectiveness of a long-term strategy on both short-term and long-term sales.
Nevertheless, Chilvers expected it to impact the effectiveness of the campaign. But she was wrong.
Just nine months into ‘We’re on it’, the latest internal data shows the campaign is already 20% more effective than The Fixer at driving sales. That’s saying something given The Fixer helped Direct Line Group win two IPA Effectiveness Gold awards.