Michael Winner is to return as the “face” of Esure in an advertising blitz just 18 months after being dropped from the insurer’s advertising. The campaign breaks next month.
The film director turned gastronome will reappear on Boxing Day in a continuation of the “I have…” campaign, which features drivers talking about the number of years’ no-claims bonuses they have. His scenes were filmed last week in a Croydon shopping centre.
Winner was replaced by animated character Mister Mouse as part of a campaign to highlight its online sales arm and its decision to scrap its requirement of a minimum of four years’ no claims (MW May 26, 2005).
But the insurance provider reverted to its four-year no-claims required in August and it also dropped Mister Mouse.
A spokeswoman says Mister Mouse has “fulfilled its purpose of driving online sales and activity”, but she denies that the character has been killed off.
She adds that it will be used in online and other marketing communications.
Winner’s original ads, which featured the phrase “Calm down, dear”, were highly successful but critically derided, and ranked as 2004’s most-irritating campaign. Winner took over directing and starring in Esure ads after the insurer took its advertising in-house in 2002.
The company was launched in 2001 by Peter Wood as a joint venture with Halifax Bank of Scotland (HBOS). Its brands now include Sheila’s Wheels and First Alternative.