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As part of Direct Line’s new 'fixing' proposition, it undertook a branded campaign to fix the morale of Britain's worst football team, AFC Longford. The campaign rapidly went global, making the FIFA official website and achieving a reach of over three billion.

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Summary

The gradual rise of price comparison websites meant Direct Line’s 'come direct' proposition was outdated and irrelevant. Revenue across its two key products had significantly plummeted. Based on extensive research, the insurance firm discovered that above all, consumers wanted hassle-free solutions and an insurer that ‘fixes things when they go wrong’. Direct Line was therefore keen to reinforce its 'fixing' credentials, and embarked on a #directfix campaign with AFC Longford, a football team at rock bottom and seriously in need of fixing. Thanks to the shareable nature of the campaign content, which largely ran across social media, activities rapidly went global, achieving a total reach of over three billion.

Objectives & Aims

The campaign linked to Direct Line’s overall business objectives: to reverse its decline in revenue by 2016 and to encourage more people to choose it as their preferred brand.

The brief was to showcase that Direct Line fixes problems like nobody else. If it could demonstrate simple fixes that take the hassle out of everyday life, it would not only engage people outside of their renewal period, but also reinforce its 'fixing' credentials and position itself as the brand that delivers on its promises.

The insurance firm believed the fix couldn't be a stunt as it needed real impact for the 'fixee', wrapped within a news and social feed-worthy story.

As well as the objectives above, a number of campaign targets were set:

  • 27 pieces of national editorial.
  • 24 pieces of regional editorial.
  • Branded images in 25% of pieces.
  • Reach 15,000,000 via all media.
  • 300-500,000 impressions via Twitter.
     

Implementation, Execution & Tactics

If ever there was a worthy cause for a ‘fix’ it was AFC Longford, dubbed 'England's worst football team'. Direct Line wanted to lift the team's broken morale and saw a chance to run a large-scale #directfix campaign around it.

The insurance firm planned an ongoing, robust media and social media campaign that used both Direct Line and AFC Longford communications.

To launch activities, it drafted in ex-pro footballer Stuart Pearce as Longford's new signing. The announcement was used to capture a number of media assets including imagery, quotes and footage for social media.

It was so successful that Direct Line saw the opportunity to scale the ‘fix’ into something bigger, and expanded efforts to cover:

  • Training day.
  • Match announcement day.
  • Match day.

The match, which attracted a record-breaking crowd of 500, was covered live with a GoPro camera, streaming via Periscope. Despite a defeat, the increased morale of the team and crowd was portrayed in Vines which were shared via Twitter.

Results

What started as a #directfix to help the UK's worst football team resulted in a branded experience that easily surpassed original expectations. It had hoped to achieve a reach of 15 million through the campaign, but instead it went global, making the FIFA official website and achieving a reach of over three billion.

The campaign attracted nearly 3.8 million views (1 million of which were organic). Furthermore, the original campaign targets set were dramatically beaten...

  • A target of 27 pieces of national pieces editorial resulted in 63.
  • A target of 24 pieces of regional editorial resulted in 183.
  • A goal for branded images in 25% of pieces resulted in 69%.
  • A target reach of 15,000,000 resulted in an overall reach of 3,727,836,982.
  • A target to achieve 300-500,000 impressions within tweets resulted in 7,183,848 impressions.