Belairdirect tags in Georges St-Pierre

The insurance brand hopes the fighter's recognizability will add to the stories it is telling in its new platform.


Belairdirect has launched a new campaign, tapping the talents of Canada’s most well-known fighter to tell the story of how it can save customers money on car insurance.

The new ads, created by Sid Lee, star former mixed martial arts champion Georges St-Pierre as a fighter preparing for his next match, only for his training routine to be switched up or cut short so his trainers can take advantage of Belairdirect’s safe driving discounts.

Humberto Valencia, VP of marketing and digital strategy at Belairdirect, says simplicity is the main attribute the insurance company has built its brand around. To that end, the ads feature very little dialogue and get straight to the point to communicate the idea that customers save money with Belairdirect. Some of the ads also feature Automerit, the company’s telematic program that offers discounts to drivers based on feedback from sensors that measure the way someone drives.

“If you put yourself in the shoes of the consumer, I think one of the items that is a bit frustrating for them is they don’t feel in control of their insurance premiums, they feel like they’re at the mercy of the company,” Valencia says. “For us, Automerit is a way to tell the client they are in control of their insurance premiums.”

Earlier this year, Belairdirect shifted its advertising approach, moving towards advertising that keeps its comedic roots but uses more storytelling instead of having its knight spokesman dropping into various situations. Valencia says the new ads generated higher breakthrough and maintained a better link back to the brand, areas Belairdirect had always performed well in. But it also helped address some hurdles the brand had been facing (namely higher levels of ad fatigue among its audience) and generated more positive sentiment among younger consumers.

“It’s quite a decision, getting rid of something with a clear and established brand link, so getting those results from such a new platform is very encouraging for us,” Valencia says. “We hope adding someone like Georges St-Pierre to the stories we are telling is going to make that performance even stronger.”

Besides being a fit with the “fighter” motif, Valencia says St-Pierre is a recognizable face across Canadian markets, especially with younger audiences. He adds that even though Belairdirect hasn’t typically utilized anyone outside of Quebec, it has always been open to working with celebrity spokespeople, but only if they fit with the story the brand is trying to tell, instead of simply having their presence be the point of the ad.

“We want to build compelling stories, and if there is an opportunity and a fit for a celebrity to contribute to that, we’re always open,” he says. “When you think of a well-known fighter in Canada, Georges is going to be at the top of that list. His presence and personality takes the spot to a different level.”

In addition to spots airing on TV and online, the campaign also includes radio, digital and social content that will be running in English and French in Quebec, Ontario and British Columbia. PHD is handling media for the campaign.