Was Iggy Pop a passenger?

Iggy Pop is being dropped from the Swiftcover TV ads. Why’s that then? Is it a classic case of the marketing team getting bored with an idea long before the public has? Has Iggy served his purpose of getting Swiftcover noticed after those clucking awful chicken ads?

If Iggy was right for the brand a couple of years ago, why is he not now? Do Swiftcover not, at the very least, have a creative property that distinguishes them from the competition? And a rather more dynamic one than, say, Direct Line’s red phone?

I was never sure about Iggy from day one. I wasn’t sure who would relate to him as a brand ambassador. But he clearly had an impact and injected life into a low interest category grudge purchase.

We can only surmise that Swiftcover feel the story needs to be move on and that Iggy is not the man to do it. Perhaps he’s not sympathetic enough? Perhaps he’s too associated with speed not service? Perhaps he’s got no credibility for home insurance?

Or perhaps he simply does not want to be the face of Swiftcover any more? Celebs do give up sometimes. I recall that More Than’s creative question over whether to keep ‘Lucky’ the dog for a new campaign was answered by Lucky dying.

General insurance is a highly competitive business. It is a vastly expensive exercise to recruit new customers the whole time to counter churn. To succeed, marketers have to be a lot better at retaining business. It’s not as sexy as producing bright new TV campaigns but it’s a lot cheaper.

To do that you need to talk in a different tone of voice. After all, you are talking to people you should know relative well as opposed to frantically trying to attract those you don’t. Maybe Iggy doesn’t do that? Great for acquisition, less so for retention. This is where Direct Line scores….the same creative icon throughout the customer journey.

If Swiftcover have developed a concept that covers both then they are truly in business. Good luck.

  • Paul Tagent

    Interesting article, but I was never sold of the use of Iggy Pop as the brand ambassador. I recall some sort of debate when Swift started using him that Swift didn’t cover celebrities or musicians it something like that.

    I do agree that Direct Line’s iconic phone and their use of humour works well, but they have a really good USP of not being on price comparison sites. I know Swift has its 60 seconds, but is that good enough in this market that is very much cost driven??

    • Jake Johnson

      I agree with Paul in regards to his last point. I was always confused by Swiftline’s claim that you could get a quite in 60 seconds or less. My first thoughts were “who cares?” for something as important as car insurance, I’d want time to be taken over making sure I’ve got the right amount of cover – and then shop around for the best price!

      I think Chris makes an excellent point in the fact that Iggy Pop, and the messages he conveyed through the adverts, doesn’t translate well for retention as it is all about being fast and quick. That type of person wouldn’t have time to think about staying loyal to a company, they just want to get it and go.

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