Magazine article Marketing

Adwatch 23.02.11: Aviva

Magazine article Marketing

Adwatch 23.02.11: Aviva

Article excerpt

The insurance brand's latest Paul Whitehouse ad takes a disappointingly serious tack.

In this commercial, Paul Whitehouse plays a man watching his family pack for a holiday. At various points we cut to close-ups of them wistfully missing their dad, and at the end we discover he is deceased.

When selling life insurance, peace of mind is the generic benefit: don't worry, your loved ones will be financially secure after you die. The problem is that anyone working in the insurance industry gets to this insight after about 12 seconds of account-plannery contemplation.

There is nothing necessarily wrong with trying to own the category-generic benefit, as long as you can do so credibly and stamp your unique brand identity onto it. And there's the rub: what is Aviva's brand identity? To most people, Aviva is the somewhat faceless yellow-and-green thing. It's got some previous ... something about Norwich? It's big, so reasonably trustworthy (as far as that goes in financial services these days), but it's not very dynamic, and is probably a bit pricey.

Umm ... not the tightest of positionings to be injecting into a generic benefit.

But I'm being unfair. For a while now, Aviva has bound itself tightly to the association with Fast Show-era Whitehouse. Once incredibly popular, he can bring a bit of zest to an otherwise rather corporate brand. Borrowing interest seems to have paid off nicely for the meerkats, so it can be a viable creative solution. …

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