New State Insurance print ads are smashing

It’s mid-morning and I’m reading the Saturday paper with a cup of tea in hand. A full-page ad seems to mirror me back at me – a young woman in a floral dress stands at her kitchen bench reading the paper, a cup of tea in hand. At first I wonder if it’s the opening page of a fashion spread – but there’s no prices.

I turn the page and the scene has changed – the cup of tea smashed on the ground in a puddle, a cricket ball lying nearby, and a hole in the window. 

“Get insurance fast because things happen fast”, the copy for the new State Insurance ad reads.

Floral dress wearing, tea-drinking, newspaper-reading people all around the country look instinctively out the window, as though it were just about to happen to them.

The new range of ads from IAG owned State Insurance illustrate ordinary accidents with a series of surprising scene-changes in print.

IAG general manager marketing and customer communications Merran Anderson says the ads are summer-centric, and try to remind customers to be aware of insurance when it’s probably the last thing on everyone’s minds.

“Insurance, around this time of year, is not necessarily something always front of mind – it’s also a time of year people are concentrating of other things and accidents happen – it can be really costly,” she says.

Instead of using the entirely unexpected as a starting point, State Insurance and agency Colenso BBDO recreated the everyday.

“We’ve tried to take a very human approach and not focus on big disasters, because for the majority of people it’s the small things that happen that they need to claim for, that they need some support financially to recover from, and and we’ve really taken that approach in this creative,” Anderson says. 

The insurance company was willing to do something a little bit different with the print campaign in order to stand out.

“They’re intended to be in that format where you see a scene that’s normal and then actually there’s something not quite right about it.

“The intent was to stand out and package the insurance message in a different way and hopefully to get people’s attention in a way that is also a bit light hearted,” Anderson explains.

State Insurance has recently announced the closure of almost all of its physical branches around the country in favour of an online and over-the-phone service, and the publicity the closures has generated was a factor when working on the ads.

“It’s a factor,” Anderson says.

“To make sure people know the State brand is still very alive and vital – so we have considered that in the timing of this.”

Instead of driving customers in store, the ads are geared to drive customers to State’s website and call centres.

Call centre and online are the highest traffic areas in the way State customers were interacting with the brand, Anderson says.

“They’re really core channels for State – we’ve got a very large customer base, roughly half a million New Zealanders, and they’re choosing to deal with us that way so the marketing is definitely supporting that in terms of ‘Call 0800’ or ‘Go online’ and we’re improving the functionality in both of those aspects,” Anderson says.

This is also the first visual print ad State Insurance has done in a while, in recent times preferring to use its radio and digital channels.

“This is taking the radio and digital message into the print medium and giving it some visibility at a time where people aren’t really thinking about insurance,” Anderson says.

Whether they continue working in print will depend on the success of this campaign.

“We’ve chosen print as a medium to do that at this time to complement the other ad creative that’s running for State, and if it works for us we may expand on it in the New Year, but at the moment it’s a summer focused activity.”

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