By Malay Desai
Australian radio and TV personality Clive Robertson plays a newsreader in a spot styled as a vintage short film. Titled ‘Kicking the Bucket’, it talks about the company’s funeral plan in a direct narrative, which even admits that talking about insurance is boring. It goes on to explain both the practical requirement of the plan and the company’s added feature. Robertson’s announcement is constantly interspersed with black-and-while clips from comic films to correspond to his points about death, accidents, relationships and more.
Why we Like
When was the last time you heard out a telemarketer trying to convince you that you need insurance… or didn’t flip channels through an ad doing the same? Insurance has long been a blind spot for us urban audiences, so much so that its sellers were once portrayed as cockroaches in a Bangkok Life ad!
The audience’s receiving thresholds aren’t too higher in Australia, but this spot has surely made a difference. Getting a known, credible face to the brand is one thing, but getting him to sell a plan in the most direct way is another. The narrative here is the clear standout factor. Using a self-deprecatory opening (‘talking about insurance is boring as bat’s poo’) and comical lines about death and human behaviour, this script is as direct as a newspaper pamphlet, yet intriguing. Robertson’s deadpan face and matter-of-fact tone only add to the hilarity and keep a viewer interested for 90 seconds, a feat deserves gold at the insurance ad Olympics.
The other half, the visuals, complement the tone perfectly and complete the comical narrative. Cutting in to fast-motion, terribly old film clips showing people getting run over, getting their mouths tested is a master stroke we least expected in an insurance spot. The animations and quirky sounds add a hilarious dimension to the narration, which is being done by a has-been-attractive celebrity.
The agency’s left no stone unturned in fleshing out plan details in this TVC, with Robertson even asking “Already have an insurance cover with another company?” before going on to explain why Freedom Insurance makes sense. (By the way, his studio desk has a hearse and a branded mug besides his microphone.) We won’t be surprised if this clear-cut stream of info with a CTA at the end leads to more sales; as opposed to fancy on-screen graphics and textual riders. Funeral insurance isn’t our concept, but we do have plans and policies for everything in life. To sell them, ad-men have made efforts to make us remove our earplugs but the list of ‘memorable insurance ads’ remains tiny. Point to note here - direct and deadpan can be effective too, and with a novel visual idea, even an insurance ad can be welcome on TV.