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Behind the Idea: Being #outheroed by a Robocop a Transformer and a Ninja Turtle

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Direct Line and Saatchi & Saatchi London have launched a major new campaign starring some of the world’s most iconic heroes including RoboCop, Donatello the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle and Bumblebee the Transformer

The new campaign, called “We’re On it”, is a move on from the brand’s hugely successful “Fixer” campaign, also by Saatchi & Saatchi, featuring Harvey Keitel as Winston Wolfe, which, since 2014, has driven spectacular commercial returns for Direct Line.

In “We’re on it”, we see the iconic heroes spring into action to help people in need only to find they’ve already been #outheroed by Direct Line - because no one solves problems like Direct Line, not even these famous heroes.

Bumblebee, Donatello and RoboCop are the first characters to feature in Direct Line’s new brand campaign, with each of them beaten by Direct Line in an emergency situation, including an office break-in and a car accident. 

The TV ads were directed by two-time Oscar nominee Bryan Buckley. The work marks the first time ever Direct Line has brought all its product lines, from personal to business consumers, into a single campaign.

This innovative approach shows further evolution for Direct Line, moving away from standard ad formats towards brand-building 60-second cinematic films. To gain a little further insight into the campaign and go behind the idea, we caught up with Franki Goodwin, Creative Director at Saatchi & Saatchi London.

What was the brief? 

It was one line and every single word was important; No-one solves your problems like Direct Line. This was a brief with Hollywood-sized shoes to fill. It needed a huge idea and a true client-agency partnership to pull it off. We’re so excited to finally be able to share this epic year of work.

How did the initial conversations/brainstorming phase go? 

There was a huge amount of pressure, Winston Wolfe was such a simple and powerful idea. It took some brilliant agency people and some smart and brave clients to crack it

Tell us about the concept and why it was the right choice? 

We knew it was the right choice as it was the simplest and boldest way to express the brief. 

What was the production process like, including the biggest challenge and how it was overcome? 

The production process was long and required huge amounts of expertise and time and stamina and craft and collaboration. Looking at an empty road and working through what we were seeing was definitely very challenging. Biggest challenge? Different people will say different things. Cracking the brief was the hardest part. Beating Winston Wolfe was a huge challenge.

What’s the main message of the campaign and why is it important? 

That no-one solves problems like Direct Line, not even superheroes. And therefore landing Direct Line’s product superiority

Why will the final assets resonate with consumers? 

Because they are designed to entertain, because they are joyful and because they are relevant. Everyone knows the feeling when a problem is being solved and you can just get on with your life.

What’s the most interesting thing or unique fact about the campaign that will help it cut through? 

We rarely see superheroes defeated and looking disappointed, yet they still end the ads epic and heroic. 

What do you hope it achieves for the brand now it’s out there?  

Fame and Sales. This is a brand and business that deserves success.

How satisfying is it to have released the campaign?

We’ve been waiting to share this campaign for a year and it’s truly wonderful to now be able to share it with the world. We shouldn’t forget the most important audience is the Direct Line employees - this is an idea hardwired to galvanise internal culture and ensure the people who work at Direct Line realise what an important job they do. It's great to see it being rolled out within the company. It’s also lovely to know that there is so much more to come.

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