RBC campaign takes fear out of buying insurance

A burning house. A wrecked car. A sick spouse. The traditional approach to selling personal insurance has been to scare the heck out of the consumer with terrifying 'what if' scenarios. Now contrast that with the first national branding campaign for...

A burning house. A wrecked car. A sick spouse. The traditional approach to selling personal insurance has been to scare the heck out of the consumer with terrifying ‘what if’ scenarios.

Now contrast that with the first national branding campaign for RBC Insurance, in which kids are shown racing down water slides and young couples are pictured embracing.

In a series of three, 30-second English television spots and two French-language TV spots, the insurance arm of the Royal Bank has taken a distinctly upbeat, optimistic approach to selling insurance.

‘People don’t buy insurance out of fear; they buy insurance so they can go out and enjoy life and not have to fear if something bad happens,’ says Bill MacDonald, president of Brandworks International, the Toronto-based agency that created the campaign.

The spots, which promote the bank’s home, auto and travel insurance, favour slow-motion pictures of families enjoying life instead of sobering images of the after-effects of a brutal car wreck or the charred frame of the family home.

‘The key to our positioning is to avoid the doom and gloom,’ says Tanis Dal Zotto, RBC Insurance vice-president of marketing. ‘We wanted to make a positive emotional connection with consumers and use optimism as a point of differentiation with the competition.’

Finding that point of differentiation was an important objective given that the campaign was RBC’s first consumer-targeted branding effort, Dal Zotto says. The company has only been offering home and automobile insurance nationally since December. In the past, the life, home, auto and travel insurance policies were sold under three different brands – RBC Direct, Westbury and Voyageur – and marketed mainly through direct response and radio advertising. Those brands are now being phased out in favour of the RBC Insurance umbrella.

‘We have pretty much a clean slate as far as this brand is concerned,’ says Dal Zotto.


Client: RBC Insurance

Agency: Brandworks International

Account Director: Bill MacDonald

Creative Director: Michael Clancy

Writer: Michael Clancy

Art Director: Joe Durning

Executive Producer: Ron Chapman

Media: Television

Start Date: February 2000

End Date: November 2000

Kraft Heinz beats the street, but reports slight sales slide

The company's Q2 net sales, while down slightly, reveal continued demand for snacks and pre-packaged meals.
Kraft Heinz

Kraft Heinz is reporting earnings of 78 cents a share, beating Wall Street’s estimate of 72 cents a share, thanks to continued demand for snacks and pre-packaged meals. However, the company also reported a net sales decline of 0.5% compared with the same period last year, to $6.6 billion, according to its latest Q2 earnings report, released Tuesday.

The company experienced a favourable 2.3 percentage point impact from currency and a negative 0.7 percentage point impact from its February divestiture of Hormel Foods – including the Planters peanut brand – which closed in the second quarter of 2021.

Its cheese divestiture – which included the sale of its natural cheese division to Lactalis – is expected to close in the second half of 2021, says Kraft Heinz Global CEO Miguel Patricio in this morning’s conference call.

Adjusted EBITDA slumped 5.2% versus the year-ago period to $1.7 billion and increased 6.6% versus the comparable 2019 period. Higher transportation and inflation-related goods costs continue to affect the company’s bottom line.

Kraft Heinz’ organic net sales declined 3.6% in Canada over the last three months compared with a comparable period last year, this as total net sales rose 8.8% year over year. 

However, its overall organic net sales slipped 2.1% compared with 2020 figures. This includes the negative impact stemming from exiting its McCafé licensing agreement. However, this decline was partly offset, Kraft Heinz reports, by “partial recovery in foodservice channels and retail consumption trends.”

“Food service is recovering, and recovering fast,” Patricio stressed in today’s earnings call. He said “the bet to support QSR” early in the pandemic, with individual packets of ketchups and sauces, is paying off.

Channel trends are still normalizing, he warns, and it’s too early to see how at home or away from home, will net out. “We have big ambitions for away from home business,” he said. Consumers continue to evolve how they eat, with Patricio saying that Kraft Heinz is collaborating with a popular DTC brand for its Philadelphia cream cheese.

Accrued marketing costs, the company reports, rose to $968 million from $946 million in December 2020.

“We are investing more in our brands, and better as well, building a much more creative company,” Patricio reported.

Kraft Heinz is also strengthening and diversifying its media presence, he said, driving repeat rates for those discovering and rediscovering the brand. Patricio added that the company is continuing to drive its transformation program forward, modernizing its brands and better connecting with its consumers.