Onlia builds a message about being safe everywhere

The insurance co created "sand circles" for social distancing, part of a brand positioning based around keeping communities safe.
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Onlia has made safety one of its brand pillars, so it is once again at the forefront of the digital insurance provider’s latest campaign – albeit, a kind that looks outside of the homes and cars it protects for customers.

Onlia and creative agency DDB Canada created a mass, one-day installation of “sand circles” and sculptures at Ashbridge’s Bay beach in Toronto ahead of the August long weekend to remind beach-goers to adhere to social distancing measures and take the proper safety precautions against COVID-19.

The installation was accompanied by 15- and 30-second spots on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter that showed the creation of the socially-distanced sand circles, and to remind Canadians to “stay safe, whether they’re on the road, at home, or at the beach.” Media Experts handled the media buy for the campaign, which includes paid social amplification of the activation.

“We look to build safety narratives into everything that we do,” says Olivia van Eyk, head of marketing at Onlia.

Van Eyk says the provider is always looking for new ways to create a safer environment for its nearly 7,000 customers, as well as the community at large outside of just home and auto, an association Onlia is hoping the public will make with this campaign.

Outside of its advertising, Onlia has done this through initiatives such as the Onlia Sense safe driving app – which uses a customer’s phone sensors to score them on key driving factors, like speed and cornering, and enables them to earn cash-back rewards and Starbucks gift cards. It has also taken part in initiatives such as “Light Up The Night,” where it partnered with non-profit Switchback Cyclery on an event dedicated to teaching safer behaviours to cyclists and raising awareness to the importance of road visibility. It has co-created comedy podcasts tailored to commuters as a way to curb road rage.

Van Eyk says, initially, during the pandemic, the biggest challenge for Onlia was trying to quickly respond to the changing needs of Canadians and to find ways it could support communities in a difficult time. So, Onlia waived all insurance payments for qualified insurers in the month of May.

“That was something that we thought was tangible, that we could do that would really help those who might have suffered job losses or those being told to make their payments, but still needed that really valuable service of their insurance coverage,” she says.

Ontarians’ needs are adjusting yet again as places like Toronto and Peel Region entered stage three last Friday, making the need to reinforce social distancing all the more important.

“We saw an opportunity to raise awareness of social distancing, in a unique and impactful way,” van Eyk says. “We’re seeing this reopening, and this is a new change from the recent lifestyle that we’ve been experiencing, which was much more stay at home.”