Bushfires, floods and the COVID-19 outbreak have forced Australian insurer NRMA to be flexible about plans – and it has learned some key lessons about adapting quickly.

Over the past six months none of NRMA Insurance’s campaigns have proceeded as planned – it’s had to pivot and replan its last five campaigns – but in some ways that’s a good thing, according to Mindshare Sydney’s Catherine Rushton.

Writing exclusively for WARC, she cites Brent Smart, CMO of NRMA parent group IAG: “Brands need to move at the speed of culture, which is way faster than marketing departments are used to moving”. (For more details, read her article in full: From Koalas to Coronavirus: How NRMA Insurance learnt to move at the speed of culture.)

An example of how NRMA achieved this was its rapid switch, at the end of March, from a message of hope around its bushfire recovery campaign to one of help in response to COVID-19.

Footage from the original bushfire film, featuring a rescued koala (NRMA’s brand mascot), was re-edited, using new footage from the shoot of family home life, which felt very relevant, and the addition of the reassuring voice of legendary Australian actor Jack Thompson repledging that “help is who we are”. These changes were turned around and on air in just ten days.

“Despite how devastating the bushfires had been in Australia over the summer, consumer sentiment had moved very quickly to anxiety around COVID-19,” said Smart.

“You can’t just stick to your marketing plan and existing creative assets when the world around you has completely changed,” he added. “You need to have a point of view and a voice, you need to be culturally relevant.

“And to do that, you need to make quick decisions to pivot and have a highly cohesive team that can then execute quality content at pace, without losing sight of the bigger brand picture which needs to be enduring.”

Sourced from WARC