Direct Line ‘The Torment’: Is insurance really so grisly?

direct lineAs Halloween approaches, the full horror will become apparent. No, not Brexit this time, it is the full horror of being a first-time insurance buyer that is being exposed in a new ad campaign for Direct Line.

You see, apparently for your average 17- to 34-year-old the thought of no longer being covered by their parents’ or guardians’ insurance policies is quite simply petrifying.

The very prospect of having to deal with claims by themselves and dealing with stress when things go wrong is enough to have them screaming from the rooftops. Poor luvs.

Anyway, that’s what research carried out by Direct Line’s agency Saatchi & Saatchi shows…and you don’t argue with research do you?

The campaign consists of a short film called “The Torment”, created by Saatchi and directed by Alice Lowe. It features a girl in bed, looking horrified as she confesses that she has scratched up her car on the way back from the supermarket. It ends with her saying: “Mum, I am going to have to use your car.” At which point, her mum bursts into a scream…

The ad also features a specially commissioned “horror” track by electronic music duo ToyDrum, who wrote and produced music for the Shane Meadows series This is England.

Saatchi & Saatchi creative director Franki Goodwin said: “The true horrors of growing up and being responsible are at their most visceral when something goes wrong. We’ve tapped into a genre most popular with our audience to create a campaign that is as resonant as it is entertaining.”

Direct Line brand activation manager Rachael Lynch added: “Our audience are at a time when they want to maximise their personal freedom and decision making, however, this comes with worry about things going wrong. We’ve tried to find entertaining ways to show how Direct Line’s promise is relevant in their lives. Nobody’s perfect: at some point we all mess up, but Direct Line understands and is there to help.”

The short film is supported by a cinema version and a series of six-second social spots which bring to life other real life “horrors” from cracked laptops to lost phones and kitchen disasters.

So, what is the consensus around the Decision Marketing office? Is it spooky enough to frighten under 35s to get straight on the blower to Direct Line? If so, when did insurance become quite so hair-raising? Also, why haven’t they just used Winston Wolfe?

Well, your guess is as good as ours on most of those questions, we’re just not sure that it screams Direct Line. Take off the final shot, which only shows the logo, and it could in fact be for any brand; there is even something rather reminiscent of the Aviva “Get A Quote, Not A Quiz” spot about it.

Still, it is actually quite a neat film; well written, well shot, and a good soundtrack and it’s not that often you can say that about an insurance ad.

Decision Marketing Adometer 7 out of 10

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