Co-operators hopes for big things from a small campaign

Miniatures and dioramas aim to strike a different tone in the highly competitive home and auto insurance market.

Co-operators is looking to separate itself from a big crowd in the insurance market with pint-sized storytelling.

Creative in the new campaign uses things like gummy worms and life-sized Timbits to show damage to diorama homes and cars.

“We analyzed the market and noticed a significant trend: a lot of what we saw used very similar lifestyle imagery, and in an industry as crowded as insurance and financial services, that repetition can be tiring for an audience,” says Cindy Wong, VP, marketing and communications at Co-operators.

Last fall, Co-operators rebranded with help from Huge. In a masterbrand campaign, it positioned itself as being more than insurance, with an approach that was more focused on the priorities of it clients across its other products, like in financial services.

However, insurance is still major part of Co-operators’ business. And when it came to marketing around that specific part of its offering,  Wong tells strategy that the brand was committed to standing out in a very competitive category.

Its creative shop Huge developed the creative concept and introduced the brand to Toronto artist and commercial photographer, Hamin Lee, who designed campaign visuals using staged miniature figures experiencing human-sized problems as commentary on the idea that through the lens of insurance, “if it’s important to a consumer, it’s important to us.”

According to Wong, the challenge in launching the campaign was striking a balance between being uniquely playful while being mindful of the fact that the stories depicted are in fact real world scenarios.

“We were conscious that the priority of grabbing the audiences’ attention had to be weighed against any negative perception that comes from making light of a claims related incident,” she adds. The campaign had an abbreviated creative timeline from the start going from ideation, to planning, to shooting creative concepts to a full launch in about a month.

The home and auto insurer’s digital campaign launched nationwide, and also includes radio and social media ads. The campaign will remain in-market until late June, with a plan to relaunch in the fall – this is a full funnel, multi-channel campaign and a key component of it is the digital marketing, which requires constant optimization, Wong notes.

Media partner Epitaph worked to execute the right targeting through a focus on radio in major markets, with digital ads targeting to 25–54-year-olds. Wong adds that in British Columbia, Manitoba and Saskatchewan – provinces that have public auto insurance options – targeting was made more specific to only include ads for home insurance.