RAC bids to drop ‘dull industry norms’

The RAC has launched the first ad campaign since it overhauled its marketing strategy, which aims to speak to potential and existing members in a more positive way than its competitors.

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The ad features two children mimicking a winter breakdown with toy vehicles, which aims to eschew the traditional “fear factor” approach from rivals in favour of a warmer message.

It is the first spot produced by BBH since the agency was brought on board in August.

Aviva sold the RAC to private equity group Carlyle in September last year. In January 2012 the organisation brought on board former T-Mobile marketer Lysa Hardy on an interim basis to review its marketing strategy.

This led to the RAC repositioning as “The Motorists’ Champion” as it looked to steal share from its biggest competitor The AA.

Hardy, who left to become chief marketing officer at Holland & Barrett operator NBTY Europe, was replaced by John Orriss in July, who joined from BSkyB where he was director of subscriber growth.

Orriss, the RAC’s chief marketing officer, says: “This campaign is a radical departure from the somewhat dull norm for our industry. As the motorist’s champion, we wanted to speak to both new and existing members in a far more positive way than the customary focus on the negative effects of a breakdown. We believe this softer, more friendly ‘peace of mind’ message will appeal to the hearts and minds of consumers, particularly families, during the busy weeks in the run-up to Christmas.”

The campaign runs from this week up until Christmas and will be supported by radio and online activity. It will aim to push its free “At Home” cover offer for new members who join this winter, which entitles them to assistance with their cars either at or within a quarter of a mile of their homes.

The RAC has more than 7 million members, according to its website. Its biggest rival the AA claims to have about 15 million members.

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