Ogilvy Melbourne’s innovative AAMI RestTowns campaign for the insurer redefines typical communications in safety and protection, discovers LBB’s Esther Faith Lew
Who doesn’t love to go on a road trip in Australia? Those long winding roads and beautiful scenery, not to mention small towns that are full of character and are fun to explore? However, this picture-perfect scenario is marred by a harsh reality check; namely, the high number of accidents that arise due to driver fatigue from not taking enough rest stops. It is the third-highest cause of fatal road accidents in Australia.
When Ogilvy Melbourne was tasked by Australian Associated Motor Insurers Limited (AAMI) to work on a campaign to address the high number of claims associated with motoring accidents, they hit upon a great idea that didn’t involve striking fear into our hearts. Truth be told, many road safety campaigns can be just too serious and fail to create the right stickiness with their target audience, especially with younger drivers. Ogilvy Melbourne knew they had to adjust the dial to make sure their audience was tuning in – and loving it.
“Drivers, especially young people, are not stopping to rest every two hours as advised. There are ‘Driver Reviver’ sites run by volunteer community groups, which are activated during peak driving periods. But young drivers tend to power through without stopping,” says David Ponce de Leon, executive creative director at Ogilvy Melbourne.
It resulted in the AAMI RestTowns campaign, which took home a Gold Lion for data-driven insight under Media, and a Bronze Lion for data-driven targeting under Creative Data at Cannes Lions this year. “We’re happy the judges recognised the degree of difficulty in an idea like AAMI RestTowns, having to connect with a notoriously evasive target audience at exactly the right time and place we needed to,” says David.
To get the attention of younger drivers, the campaign was activated on Spotify, Instagram and TikTok. As a result, the campaign covered 5,466km of road; reached 8 million young drivers; hit 3.5 million social impressions; and turned 52 RestTowns from boring into social media worthy – which means, worth stopping at. Most importantly, it led to a 29% reduction in claims for AAMI.
Unlocking the power of social media
Getting it going was a “mammoth task that required amazing collaboration between all parties”, shares David. He attributes their success to the Suncorp team led by Mim Haysom; OMD Australia’s cutting-edge, data-informed and targeted media strategy; and Spotify, which could not have happened without their involvement. “It does take a village to get an idea like AAMI RestTowns happening.”
According to David, the integration of very different data sources and social media platforms to turn rural Australian towns into AAMI RestTowns was pivotal. “For example, we used AAMI’s Crash Index data to identify the longest and most dangerous stretches of road and selected more than 60 country towns where young drivers could stop and rest, based on their local attractions.
“Using Facebook interest data, we identified those young drivers most likely to go on a road trip to deliver geo-targeted travel guides promoting our AAMI RestTowns based on their interests. Spotify helped us develop personalised two-hour road trip playlists based on their chosen route and location,” says David.
From there, they integrated Spotify, Waze and TikTok data, and combined geolocation, time-based interests and in-car targeting to encourage young drivers to stop and rest – in real-time. It resulted in an interactive experience for the drivers, with suggestions to check out an attraction at the right time or to provide the right incentive at the right time.
Beyond the context of road safety, AAMI RestTowns’ innovative approach had the spin-off effect of boosting local tourism in small towns as well, which suffered during pandemic lock-downs. “Small towns along popular road trip routes are a perfect place to stop and are often overlooked. We brought these local treasures to the fore, encouraging visitation and inspiring drivers to stop, rest and discover a hidden gem,” says David.
The success of AAMI RestTowns was crucial in demonstrating that “in order to change behaviour, understanding and interacting with context” are a must. “If we’d just done generic communications to people while they are not driving and completely out of context to remind them to take a break every two hours on the road, we wouldn’t have had as much of an impact,” says Gavin MacMillan, managing director at Ogilvy Melbourne.
Changing Perspectives Towards Insurance
Gavin shares that insurance is typically a category with low consumer attention, only coming up once a year when it’s time to renew a policy. This results in a consumer focus that is merely based on the cost of quotes and on savings.
However, with insurance becoming a hot topic in Australia due to ever increasing incidences of fires and floods, there is greater awareness of the importance of being properly covered. This shift in consumer emphasis creates a clearer distinction among policies that provide more perceived value.
“Our job is to help Suncorp successfully position its brands in this context. This means we need to create a balance between standing out and standing up for something. We stand out via strong, consistent use of distinctive brand assets. We stand up by demonstrating the value of products and making an impact to communities,” asserts Gavin.
As both Gavin and David rightly emphasise, data has always been important to every brief, and with the new variety of data at disposal being more predictive in nature, the power of messaging is even more effective in its timeliness and contextual accuracy. Combined with the targeting abilities of social media platforms, it bodes well for clients in particularly low-consumer-attention categories. “This ability is only going to improve in the future and in increasing data application for all briefs,” says Gavin.
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