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TV ad has SA in stitches

16 April 2018Natalie Bisset, King Price
Natalie Bisset, general manager of marketing for King Price.

Natalie Bisset, general manager of marketing for King Price.

A video showing a farmer getting sexy with his tractor has South Africa in stitches… And its creator is an insurance company. Which isn’t traditionally an industry known for its sense of humour but King Price Insurance puts ‘funny’ way up front in its brand tonality and messaging.

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Essentially, the ad is about something being lost in translation, which is something that happens all too often in SA. And, says Natalie Bisset, general manager of marketing for King Price, that’s 1 of the reasons King Price goes to such lengths to write our policy wording in easy to understand, everyday language rather than complicated legalese. ‘Our clients understand exactly what they’re paying for.’

This commitment to straight talk is something that King Price extends throughout their brand tonality. ‘We talk to all our clients like they’re good friends. We’re informal, funny and a little tongue in cheek, but always respectful,’ says Bisset. ‘This also links back to Treating Customers Fairly – an industry requirement. To us, treating customers fairly is just the fair and logical way insurance should be done. Kind of like our premiums that decrease monthly as cars depreciate in value.’

Bisset adds that King Price is a very proudly South African brand, and that 1 thing all South Africans have in common is that we laugh – at ourselves, at each other, and with each other. ‘King Price is big on humour, it’s 1 way we take the ‘eina’ out of insurance.’

‘We also honestly believe that a happy workplace = happy clients, and 1 of our family values is ‘fun with a little madness’. We take what we do very seriously, but ourselves… Not so much. So, if we can make South Africa laugh, we will. And, if we can encourage South Africans to own that they’re flawsome, we’ll do that, too. Because we totally own that, while we’re awesome, fixing our flaws is always top of our to-do list.’

Strategically, this is the first ad in a brand campaign,’ says Bisset. ‘Just like Nando’s ads don’t often talk about chicken, this series isn’t focused on our insurance offering, or even our USP. Yes, we’ve got your back, your bakkie, your business and your bling (and just about everything else), but we’re also the first and only insurer (in the world, as far as we know) to offer premiums that decrease monthly in line with depreciating car values.’

In terms of raising brand awareness, and distinguishing the King Price brand in the cluttered insurance market, the ad is already working. It was viewed more than 250,000 times from the King Price Facebook page, and went viral all over the world on WhatsApp, in less than 24 hours. And this after just being shared internally with top management.

Bisset says that this level of online uptake enables massive re-marketing opportunities, which is where targeted product-specific messaging will come into play. ‘Having a holistic plan in place is critical. Advertising is just 1 part of any successful strategic marketing campaign, and must translate back into sales. We’re still very much the ‘new kid on the block’ and we don’t have massive marketing budgets to throw around so everything we do translates back to our ‘lean and mean’ family value. Minimum spend for maximum impact.’

Besides, says the insurer, they’d rather channel budget into their #MakingADifference initiatives than into seeing their logo on every single available channel.

Production

Freckle, the creative baby of writer/actor/film-maker duo Bennie Fourie and Bouwer Bosch, was responsible for the concept and production. ‘We have a long-standing relationship with Fourie and Bosch, and we gave them a pretty open-ended brief,’ says Bisset. ‘Push brand. Be funny. Embrace cultural diversity. Disrupt the clutter. Emphasise that we make sense when others don’t. That was pretty much it.’

The storyline is an adaption of a joke that Fourie’s dad likes to tell. ‘What makes the ad so funny,’ says Fourie, ‘Is that we stripped away all the gimmicks and focused on capturing the human element. It’s a simple story. Our main character, Callie, doesn’t even know he’s funny. That’s where the comedy happens.’

Fourie and Bosch take comedy very seriously. ‘Comedy resonates with everyone. It breaks down barriers and gets you an ‘in’ to people’s lives. We’re all just human beings with emotions, and laughing together brings us together,’ says Fourie.

Brendan Barnes, of punk rock band Crash Car Burn-fame, did the cinematography for the ad, and Peach van Plezten accessed his inner sexy to create the music.

Quick Polls

QUESTION

The FSCA has said that the intrusive nature of regulation actually benefits insurers and intermediaries. Is this the reality on the ground?

ANSWER

Yes, intrusive regulation has helped us see how we can work towards better customer service
No, intrusive regulation comes at a cost and a major headache