- Direct Auto Insurance debuted a rebranding campaign that focuses on second chances, according to details shared with Marketing Dive. "Get Direct & Get Going" plays on the challenges of getting affordable car insurance after being in an accident.
- Ads star rapper Fat Joe, former NFL football player Johnny Manziel and former ice skating champion Tonya Harding — all celebrities that needed a fresh start following scandals. The ads play up the celebrities' past mistakes in a direct but self-deprecating manner. For instance, Johnny Manziel addresses a negative social media quote about him and encourages consumers to try for a second chance with a free quote from Direct Auto Insurance.
- Creative appears in 30-, 15- and 6-second TV spots, which were directed by Steve Miller, as well as through social video. Developed with agency of record Pereira O'Dell, the effort is a complete rebrand for Direct Auto Insurance and additionally includes a tweaked logo, color palette and retail elements.
Direct Auto Insurance's rebranding around a campaign that features figures like Manziel and Harding — who have done some legitimately disreputable things — is a risky strategy, but one that has the potential to drum up buzz about the company as it aims to cast itself in a new light.
"In choosing celebrities, we wanted to hone in on people who share the same everyday issues our audience faces," Nick Sonderup, executive creative director at Pereira O'Dell, said in a press statement.
Some of Direct Auto's new ambassadors, particularly Harding, have received fresh attention thanks to recent pop culture. The former ice skater was the subject of last year's Academy Award-winning "I, Tonya," where she was portrayed by Margot Robbie.
The edgier humor in the messaging of "Get Direct & Get Going" could help Direct Auto Insurance stand out in an insurance category dominated by just a handful of high-spending giants.
Auto insurance revenue is on the rise, as the category raked in $245 billion in 2018 — a 6.2% year-over-year increase — according to J.D. Power findings reported in Insurance Journal. J.D. Power highlighted that 54% of the growth stemmed from the two direct-to-consumer (DTC) leads in the space, Progressive Insurance and Geico, as consumers increasingly adopt the DTC model. Direct Auto Insurance also offers DTC services.
Geico and Progressive have grown their recognition among consumers thanks to distinctive marketing, with the former frequently deploying absurdist humor and its gecko mascot and the latter centering many of its efforts around a long-running brand character named Flo.