TITLE: Direct Line Pet Insurance: Metro Pet of Day
CATEGORY: Best newsbrands campaign
SUMMARY: Not appearing on Price Comparison Websites means that Direct Line have to work
harder ensure their products are well known, so when we needed to raise awareness of one of
their lesser known products; Pet Insurance we needed to do something memorable .
When it comes to Pet Insurance, we know that people find insurance a pain, but find their pets
adorable. We celebrated people’s love of their pets by sponsoring the institution that is Metro Pet
of the Day. The results were fantastic – delivering social buzz, a huge number of competition
entries as well as both sales and leads.
Background and objectives: Drive leads by making Direct Line synonymous with Pet insurance
It’s really hard to get cut through in a highly competitive, low interest category such as insurance.
This is made even harder when you do not appear on Price Comparison Websites, which Direct Line
do not; their ethos being about cutting out the middle man and offering not just a competitive quote
for insurance but also a high level of service.
This challenge is exacerbated yet further when we take Pet insurance, since historically, Direct Line
hasn’t been known for this area, concentrating the majority of budget promoting car and home
So, we needed to not only inform consumers about the product but make sure we created impact
and engagement to ensure consumers knew why Direct Line is the best place to insure your pet. In
addition, we needed to drive quotes from consumers and enable data capture.
Insight and strategy: Pet Insurance is an emotional as well as rational decision for pet owners
Britain is a nation of pet lovers – one in three pet owners even prefers their pet to their relatives!
Pet owners love their pets and are even proud of them – looking to show them off at every
opportunity. On YouTube, clips of people’s pets get huge numbers of hits (who can forget Fenton?
and Denver the guilty dog got 29.6m hits at the last count), and so we know that pet content is very
engaging and on trend.
As a result pet insurance is just as important a purchase for pet owners than any other type of
insurance. But, unlike most insurance pet insurance is as much an emotional as a rational decision.
Therefore linking these two insights together, we wanted to give pet owners the opportunity to
celebrate their pets and make them famous, courtesy of Direct Line.
Given the emotional connection and trust that readers also have to newsbrands, we knew that this
could be great environment to take this content, and the Metro with its entertainment credentials
and existing Pet of the Day feature was the perfect partner.
The plan: Connect with pet owners over the love they have for their pets
The institution of Metro’s Pet of the Day fulfilled our criteria perfectly and we sponsored this feature
allowing us to place Direct Line Pet Insurance in front of the millions of daily readers of the Metro.
By aligning an insurance brand with this show of love for pets we also positioned the brand as one
that actually cares about pets and their owners.
Sponsorship consisted of a daily sponsorship of the in paper feature as well as a web presence
where people can submit their pet to be featured. We also used the web presence to open up a
commination channel with consumers and collapse the conversion funnel, creating a journey from in
paper, online and then to data capture and potential leads and quotes.
As well as the paper driving the traffic to the microsite we had traffic drivers across the A&NY
network boosting submissions to the microsite at the early stages of the campaign. The sponsorship
was initially for 3 months between March and May, however due to its success it was extended to
the end of July.
The results of the sponsorship were very encouraging across a number of metrics. Over the 5 month
period there were 428,031 page views and 16,313 entries. Of the huge number of entries there were
6,599 pet owners who opted in to receive further information from Direct Line. As awareness grew
the sponsorship was kicked by social media which amplified the reach of the campaign, see below:
The campaign, while delivering on the overall awareness KPI also provided quotes and sales.
The really valuable output of this partnership is
that through the opt-in data we can re-target these consumers on an on-going basis.
What we’ve learned from this is that by tapping into people’s emotional connection with a product
or a brand, rather than simply talking about functional benefits, we can really drive interaction and
engagement, and in this case this went on to leads and sales. Insurance doesn’t need to be boring!
This is great example of using a print brand as a spring board to build awareness and create
emotional engagement but also to create sales. The client was extremely happy:
“The sponsorship exceeded all our expectations in terms of the number of entries, level of data
capture and above all the level of positive social buzz that the association with the Pet of The Day
feature generated for us”
Nick Forsythe Brand Manager Direct Line Pet Insurance