NFU Mutual, the insurance company founded by the National Farmers Union, is understood to be looking to shed its fusty image and target a more mainstream audience.
The insurance, pensions and investments company is sponsoring populist ITV Sunday drama series Heartbeat in its first television sponsorship deal. It says the series appeals to its target market – those living in the countryside – although it is thought the Mutual is keen to make its brand more relevant. The sponsorship begins this Sunday.
It has already thought to have more than doubled its advertising spend from last year’s £2.5m. Group marketing manager Charles Bei-ghton says NFU Mutual wants to build awareness of the business and the products it offers. “People associate Heartbeat with traditional values and it’s a good fit for our business.”
The deal follows the appointment of Shop to its enlarged advertising account in January after a competitive pitch, which was handled by Agency Insight (MW October 5, 2006).
An integrated campaign to promote the NFU Mutual website as well as a telephone number where potential customers can find the location of their nearest branch is expected to air in summer.