“You look so hot today, Rhonda”

This article was first published in 2013 in the University of Melbourne’s Students’ Association of Management and Marketing ‘SAMM Press’ magazine. 

If you responded to the above statement with “like a sunrise”, you wouldn’t be alone.

Insurance companies have got their work cut out for them. From their confusing ‘comprehensive’ insurance packages to requesting a claim by going through copious pages of terms and conditions, it would be safe to say that insurance companies typically do not draw the fondest of associations in our minds.

So, the question remains: How has AAMI managed to break free of these negative connotations, cut through a heavily saturated market and produce a witty and memorable ad?

Instead of the typical car accident advertisements, AAMI’s series of ‘Safe Driver Rewards’ ads demonstrate the successes of ‘branded content marketing’. Branded content blurs the conventional distinction between what constitutes marketing and entertainment – allowing advertisements to be transformed in to a captivating and evolving story.

Source: news.com.au

In the mature insurance market, companies usually find it difficult to differentiate themselves through any means other than price. However, one of the key successes of AAMI’s series of ads is the ‘relatability’ of Rhonda as your atypical Australian escaping to Bali on a holiday. The creation of the prevailing romance between Rhonda and Ketut facilitates an emotional connection to the audience and – as a direct result of our emotional investment – leaves us waiting for the next instalment of ads and the next chapter of the story.

Since launching the first advertisement in October 2011, the Australian marketing agency Ogilvy found that AAMI experienced a 21.7% increase in new business opportunities – a particularly high result considering the level of saturation in the insurance market. Besides traditional and measured marketing metrics, consumers have also turned to social media outlets to create pages like ‘The sexual tension between Rhonda and Ketut’ that have attracted more than 50,000 ‘likes’.

The next instalment of AAMI’s ads made its debut during half time at the AFL Grand Final in 2012. The advertisement features Rhonda relaying her interpretation of meeting Ketut to her friend when a minor car accident occurs. Before the game was over, the ad was already trending on Twitter.

The latest episode premiered in late August 2013 and shows Rhonda being swept off her feet by Trent Toogood at their high school reunion, leaving a lonely looking Ketut who appears at the end with a bouquet of flowers.

Whilst the ads have attracted much media attention, AAMI must ensure that their advertisements continue to be consistent, creative and unique to achieve further success. If AAMI is able to continue to strike the right balance in developing the story of Rhonda and Ketut, they can be sure that their next couple of ads will also be hot… like a sunrise.

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