Belairdirect steps out with a new feel-good tune

The insurer sings the praises of its app to feed customer cravings for things that make life less stressful.

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Belairdirect is once again taking a musical approach to position itself as a simple insurance option, this time helping make dinged-up vehicles feel pretty again with a tap of the app.

The insurer’s new national campaign features anthropomorphized automobiles that are happy to be repaired, singing from the West Side Story song “I Feel Pretty” as they are towed into a garage full of choreographed mechanics who get help from the brand’s animated knight mascot.

The creative is promoting Belairdirect’s mobile app and the ease it aims to bring claims filing, through things like the ability to manage claims from a phone and to instantly upload associated images of dents and damage.

In response to an increasingly unpredictable and complicated pandemic world, Marie-Pierre Leclerc, VP of marketing and digital strategy at Belairdirect, says the brand’s philosophy of providing customers comfort by simplifying their lives remains incredibly relevant. A brand pillar for years, it was the focus of another musical-inspired campaign from earlier this year, which Leclerc says is a lighthearted approach that resonates more than the typical industry tack of fearmongering and negativity. Similarly, the musical positioning is part of a broader move away from creative last year that featured ex-UFC champ Georges St. Pierre, as the brand did not want to have a spokesperson-lead approach that is popular with its competition.

But with everything happening during COVID, Leclerc says it is constantly reevaluating its marketing. So while its spring campaign focused more on accident forgiveness – which does not increase premiums for a client’s first at-fault accident – it has put the spotlight now on digital services that consumers are increasingly incorporating into their lives.

“More customers are using digital tools to manage products online, so it made sense to tell our customers we can accommodate them,” Leclerc says, adding that its target is more psychographic, looking to reach those who are interested in managing insurance themselves.

While the campaign will be fully integrated and running nationally, Belairdirect’s overall marketing budget for the year has been lowered. This is to “acknowledge that it was not the right time to be as present as we would’ve been during normal times,” Leclerc says, but some of the budget was also diverted to customer relief programs. When the pandemic struck, the brand offered premium adjustments to 300,000 customers to reflect changes in their driving habits and the fact that they were doing more remote work, driving into the office less often. Planning for uncertainty ahead is the company’s biggest challenge, including potential future waves of COVID.

Belairdirect is a subsidiary of Intact Financial Corporation, which reported strong underwriting performance across North America, including premium growth of 6% in Canada, in its most recent quarter. In its outlook, it says prevailing hard market conditions in personal auto will be tempered until driving activity returns to a normal level. 

“Pretty” – created by Sid Lee – includes TV, radio, cinema, digital and social elements, with media buying handled by PHD. A 15-second online version of the video takes a sing-along approach, with the animated knight becoming a bouncing ball to help viewers follow along with the lyrics.