NIB puts brand health in Saatchis' hands

By Wenlei Ma | 12 December 2013

Health insurer NIB has switched creative agencies to Saatchi & Saatchi from BWM.

The Publicis agency starts on the business immediately and, following a pitch, has replaced long-term incumbent, BWM which had been with the brand 2006.

NIB, which is pitched more towards the youth market with its price-conscious policy options, has featured former Newcastle Knights player Paul Harragon in its ad campaigns for many years. An NIB spokesperson said Harragon will remain the brand's ambassador but declined to detail what form creative direction will take under a different agency partner.

“Throughout the tender process, Saatchi & Saatchi Australia clearly demonstrated a high level of strategic thinking and creative excellence, as well as good cultural alignment with NIB,” NIB group manager Australian Residents Health Insurance Rhod McKensey said. “They have a very experienced team, led by Michael Rebelo, who are currently delivering great campaigns for a number of high profile national brands.

“We look forward to working with them to build on our recent success and continue our impressive record of delivering above-industry policyholder growth.”

Saatchi & Saatchi chief executive Michael Rebelo said: “The health insurance industry is becoming increasingly more competitive and more reliant upon smart creative solutions to win market share. Upon meeting NIB and understanding their ambition for the brand, we instantly knew we wanted to work with them.”

In the 2013 financial year, NIB's policyholder growth was 4.6% while its net profit after tax was $67.2 million, broadly in line with the previous year. According to its financial report, it spent $22.4 million on marketing in the 12 months to June 2013.

The win adds another notch on Saatchis' belt with the agency having picked up high profile client St George as well as the consolidation of the Toyota business.

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