MoneySuperMarket is launching a marketing campaign that it postponed due to coronavirus, with its marketing director Lloyd Page saying now feels like the right moment as consumers and businesses look to get back a sense of normalcy.
The campaign, the fourth in its ‘Get Money Calm’ brand platform, introduces the Money Calm Bull. Created by agency Engine, it shows a bull in a number of increasingly anxiety-inducing scenarios – from a children’s birthday party to an army boot camp and a fishing trawler caught in a storm – but in which it stays at ease because he has his finances under control thanks to MoneySuperMarket.
Once again narrated by Matt Berry, it ends with the strapline: ‘Be like the Money Calm Bull and Get Money Calm’.
Speaking to Marketing Week, Page admits that while the campaign is in-keeping with the brand’s tone and personality, it didn’t feel right to launch on its original date of 21 March – just days before the UK went into full lockdown due to the coronavirus.
Instead, MoneySuperMarket wanted to show people how it could be most helpful using a creative vehicle that people were already familiar with. So rather than a brand campaign, MoneySuperMarket reused some of its assets to talk about products such as its mortgage payment holiday calculator or ways it could help, for example by reducing energy bills or reminding people to cancel unwanted direct debits.
“At the end of March, we felt because of the needs, motivations and minds of our customers, it wasn’t the right time to launch a new creative idea and ad campaign,” Page recalls.
“Reusing existing creative to get those quite direct messages out was the move we made and feels like the right move.”
As we try to bring ourselves out of the real crisis of lockdown and we see some return to normality, brands and their advertising can be seen as a signal of that.
Lloyd Page, MoneySuperMarket
However, as the lockdown in the UK eases and some sense of normality returns, MoneySuperMarket feels like now is the right time for the campaign it had planned three months ago. If anything, says Page, its message of offering financial peace of mind is even more relevant as the UK prepares for a likely economic recession.
“We created the new campaign to bring the idea of money calm to life in a way that is really distinctive, entertaining and unmissable. That’s a good creative direction to go down, to be noticed, and ultimately allows us to help more people. We are here as MoneySuperMarket to offer financial peace of mind and that’s something that is super relevant to people right now,” he explains.
“As we try to bring ourselves out of the real crisis of lockdown and we see some return to normality, brands and their advertising can be seen as a signal of that. It feels like consumer sentiment, reflecting the mood of the nation, wanting to get some way back to business as usual, while respecting the guidelines. It does feel like a different moment.”
Price comparison websites are expected to be one of the sectors that will benefit during an economic downturn as consumers look for ways to save money. Media agency GroupM, in its recent ad forecast, predicted that such companies would up spend in the coming months as consumers increasingly hunt for deals.
That is why MoneySuperMarket believes having a “fame-driving” brand platform like Get Money Calm, which it launched a year ago, is so important. It wants to build a brand that is synonymous with trust and financial control, but needs to stand out in a heavily competitive market where rivals have big marketing budgets.
“Brands take a little while to build, but we are seeing positive momentum. This new campaign – the fourth against this platform – is squarely targeted at trying to drive real meaning and bring the idea to life in a fame-driving way that we hope will really cut-through,” says Page.
“We are really building equity into the idea of money calm and want people to be aware that is what the MoneySuperMarket offer is.”
While the pandemic has caused many companies to cut back on ad spend MoneySuperMarket is broadly maintaining its investment, although when and where it is spending has shifted. Its home and car insurance businesses, for example, have been hit by a reduction in car and home sales, while its home services, such as energy price comparison, have benefitted from people being at home more.
“We’ve worked very closely with senior management who understand the value that marketing offers and see that as an investment in growing the business that ultimately allows us to help more households save money and achieve financial calm,” says Page.
“From an inside the business perspective, there is a good understanding and commitment to want to maintain that investment. There has been a little bit of reshaping, but this campaign will see us launch very strongly with a strong share of voice and strong statement. Our message is super important and relevant right now, we can help the country get back to normal. That is really why we exist as a brand.”