Bartle Bogle Hegarty, London Follow Update

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New RAC winter TV ad breaks the breakdown mould

November 8, 2012

BBH campaign targets family audience with RAC child patrolman creative

The RAC is today signalling a bold new brand direction with the launch of its winter commercial which targets motorists before the cold weather onslaught. The ad, which launched on Monday 5th November, will feature in primetime slots during ‘X Factor’ and ‘Homeland’ in its first week.

Depicting two young children imitating a winter breakdown with their toy vehicles, the 30-second execution eschews the traditional ‘fear factor’ approach in favour of a warmer, more positive message aimed squarely at a family audience.

The ad is the first produced by Bartle Bogle Hegarty (BBH) since its appointment by the RAC in August, and is seen as a departure from the campaigns normally employed by the breakdown industry.

It centres on offering anyone that joins the RAC this winter free ‘At Home’ cover – which entitles them to assistance when their car encounters problems either at or within ¼ mile of their home. The offer is highlighted in the creative with a ‘young RAC patrolman’ helping to start his friend’s broken-down model car on a snowy driveway.

RAC chief marketing officer John Orriss says: “This campaign is a radical departure from the somewhat dull norm for our industry. As the motorist’s champion, we wanted to speak to both new and existing members in a far more positive way than the customary focus on the negative effects of a breakdown. We believe this softer, more friendly ‘peace of mind’ message will appeal to the hearts and minds of consumers, particularly families, during the busy weeks in the run-up to Christmas.”

Directed by the award-winning Tom and Charlie Guard of Smuggler, the ad was created by Brad Woolf and Dan Bailey at BBH. Nick Kidney and Kevin Stark were creative directors.

In addition to the premium spots in ‘X Factor’ and ‘Homeland’ there will be a strong presence on daytime ITV1, with Loose Women and This Morning, to Sky1, Sky News and a combination of satellite and terrestrial channels. The campaign will run until Christmas and also includes radio and online advertising.

The RAC’s creative change of direction comes after the company was bought by the Carlyle Group in September 2011 from previous owners Aviva. Under new management, the RAC has transformed its approach to marketing and its relationship with members as well as expanding its range of products and services, all of which is already driving the business towards its vision of being a one-stop shop for all motoring needs.