Real Insurance tries new approach in multimillion-dollar campaign

Rachael Micallef
By Rachael Micallef | 24 February 2015

Real Insurance is focusing on building an emotional connection with its customers, in a new multimillion-dollar campaign that marketing GM Sanjay Balakrishnan is calling its “most important” to date.

The campaign, by McCann's Rare:Smart, marks a firm departure from the insurer's typical advertising style of direct response marketing and product-based advertisements. While Balakrishnan said the new campaign “stays core” to its focus on direct response as a pillar for sales, but is primarily a brand response campaign.

“I think it's important to build the brand but I think it needs to work from a response point of view as well,” Balakrishnan said.

“If you can straddle both – building the brand but getting phones ringing and getting consumers to go online – then I think you've met both objectives.”

For this reason, Real Insurance's newly unveiled television commercial is designed to build an emotional connection to consumers. Rare: Smart MD Callum MacKenzie said the campaign unpacks the idea of “What is Real” to emphasise why people take out life insurance, which typically tends to be to care for their families.

“The campaign is designed to strike an empathetic cord and create an emotional bond with real people,” McKenzie said.

“Excuse the pun but real Australians out there are our potential customers. By taking this approach it's adding a whole new layer of communication from where the company has been in the past. Its really looking to relate and engage above and beyond the product offering.”

Balakrishnan said the emotional layer goes to the core of the challenge of the insurance industry. He said while underinsurance is a huge issue in Australia, people tend to suffer from inertia when it comes to purchasing insurance.

“The real value is when they make a claim,” he said. “It's only then that they realise the power of insurance. So the campaign was about how we could move away from what we're doing currently into a place where customers look at the brand in a whole new light.”

Balakrishnan said the campaign takes a more integrated approach than in the past, containing digital, display, radio and direct marketing as part of the campaign. However he said TV still takes the bulk of the multimillion-dollar campaign given that “TV is the battlefield” when it comes to marketing insurance.

Balakrishnan said the second phase of the campaign is designed to move customers past their inertia in purchasing the product.

“I think if you are involved in making that connection and telling a story, customers will warm up to the proposition,” he said. “And Real as a brand has quite a strong value proposition.”


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