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

In Brief: The Garden picks CDs to take on daily creative leadership

Plus, Naked names two new leaders of its own and Digital Ethos comes to Canada.

The Garden promotes two creative directors

ACDs Lindsay Eady and Francheska Galloway-Davis have taken over responsibility for day-to-day creative leadership at The Garden after being promoted to creative director roles.

The pair will also help develop the agency’s creative talent, formalizing mentorship and leadership activities they have been doing since joining the agency four and three years ago, respectively. In addition to creating the agency’s internship program, the pair have worked on campaigns for Coinsquare, FitTrack and “The Coke Challenge” campaign for DanceSafe.

Eady and Galloway-Davis will continue to report to The Garden’s co-founder and chief creative officer Shane Ogilvie, who is stepping back from daily creative duties to a more high-level strategic role, allowing him to focus on client relationships and business growth.

Naked Creative Consultancy names new creative and strategy leadership

Toronto’s Naked Creative Consultancy has hired Yasmin Sahni as its new creative director. She is taking over creative leadership from David Kenyon, who has been in the role for 10 years and is moving into a new role as director of strategy, leading the discipline at the agency.

Sahni is coming off of three years as VP and ECD at GTB’s Toronto office, where she managed all the retail, social and service creative for Ford Canada. She previously managed both Vice Media and Vice’s in-house ad agency Virtue.

Peter Shier, president of Naked, says Sahni’s hiring adds to its creative bench and capabilities, as well as a track record of mentorship, a priority for the company. Meanwhile, Kenyon’s move to the strategy side, he says, makes sense because of his deep knowledge of its clients, which have included Ancestry and The Globe and Mail.

Digital Ethos opens a Toronto office

U.K. digital agency Digital Ethos is pursuing new growth opportunities in North America by opening a new office in Toronto.

Though it didn’t disclose them, the agency has begun serving a number of North American clients, and CEO/founder Luke Tobin says the “time was right to invest in a more formal and actual presence in the area.” whose services include design, SEO, pay-per-click, social media, influencer and PR,

This year, the agency’s growth has also allowed it to open an office in Hamburg, Germany, though it also has remote staff working in countries around the world.

Moray Hickes was the company’s first North American hire as VP of sales, tasked with business development in the region.