Vero connects the dots—and the shots—to prove its worth, bull usage hits all-time low

For many years, Vero has taken a bovine-heavy approach to its advertising. And while Sensation, the company’s 1200kg Black Angus bull mascot who burst onto the scene in 2003 when Big launched the brand in New Zealand, features at the end of its new 60 second spot, the company has taken a different, more serious tack in an effort to show that insurance ‘is not about things going wrong, it’s about an insurer putting them right’. 

When we talked with Vero’s marketing and communications manager Ian Walker back in 2012 after Vero won a Glossie award, he said the “unique insurance environment” as a result of the Christchurch earthquakes meant it made a conscious decision to go back to basics and tell consumers about the importance of having insurance—and, more specifically, a rock solid insurance company with plenty of financial backing. At the time, he said the brand needed to work a bit harder, and that necessitated a change in direction. 

Big’s managing director Ant Salmon says it’s a different kind of commercial from those that featured the bull and while it certainly doesn’t want Vero to lose its personality or sense of humour, it is “sensitive to the need for advertising that is appropriate given the circumstances still being experienced by many in Canterbury”. 

“The Christchurch earthquakes did not just change a city; they challenged some of the fundamentals of the insurance industry.” 

It was also important that they create an ad that wouldn’t need to be taken off air if there happened to be a worrying shake in Wellington or Christchurch, so it has “avoided event and resolution clichés and passive assurances” and instead aimed to connect the things Vero does each day with replacement, repair or rebuilding for those who have suffered loss or damage. It also aims to show the value the company delivers as an enabler of business in New Zealand. 

“The commercial opens in a Vero office with people going about their work. The physical actions they perform each day are seemingly innocuous but by creating a number of cause and effect scenarios we show the real value of what they do,” says Salmon. “Their day-to-day work is connected to a series of situations where Vero’s products and services and claims resolution make things better for Vero’s customers. Importantly, we shot the ad in a Vero office and used Vero’s own people as talent.” 

Vero, which is part of the Suncorp group, is mostly an intermediated seller (it is also the insurance provider for the likes of ANZ and AMP, so Salmon says it’s important the brokers it works with are on the same page. And so far he says the ad, which was shot by Wade Shotter of Finch, has been received extremely well by all of Vero’s internal stakeholders.  

Genesis Energy and .99 followed a similar thematic and visual path with last year’s ‘We’re in it for you’. 

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