Churchill drops Dawn French as it launches talking toy giveaway

Churchill: new campaign focuses on toy giveaway
Churchill: new campaign focuses on toy giveaway

Churchill is rolling out a new marketing campaign to promote a merchandise giveaway that will see it end its partnership with comedy actor Dawn French and dole out talking dog toys to policyholders.

The insurance provider, which is part of the Direct Line Group, is kicking off the new multimedia campaign today with a TV ad that will see brand mascot Churchill fleeing to Mexico in fear that he’ll be "given away."

The TV spot, developed by WCRS, will promote a limited edition Churchill toy giveaway to buyers of home or car insurance policies bought between now and 1 June 2015. 

The toy, which Churchill described as a "a natural brand extension from the famous nodding dog", allows customers to press the collar to hear the well known ‘Oh Yes!’ or ‘Oh No!’ catchphrase.

The campaign comprises digital, social, press and radio. Phase two rolls out on 8 March with a TV spot called ‘Painting’ that shows Churchill trying to hide himself amid an abstract painting to avoid being swept away in the "giveaway frenzy".  

Neither ad features Dawn French, who has featured in Churchill campaigns since 2013 and direct line confirmed "Churchill's contract with Dawn [had] come to an end".

Last month, group marketing director Mark Evans told Marketing "physicalising" insurance was a challenge but criticised the "tactics" of some brands including for luring in customers with free toys. 

He said the sector as a whole had been impacted by price comparison sites that had "commoditised" the market.


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