Steers showcases its ‘insurance heroes’

Who: Steers Insurance, with Ray Agency for strategy and creative.

What: “Brokers to the Rescue,” a charming local campaign for the nearly 100-year-old brokerage brand that takes visual and audio cues from Baywatch to portray its staff as personal lifeguards for customers and their insurance needs.

When & Where: The campaign went live on Oct. 31, running for six weeks across television, cinema, radio, OOH, digital and social media in Newfoundland and Labrador.

Why: Ray’s research showed that many consumers don’t understand the difference between a broker and a traditional insurance company. The campaign was created to drive brand awareness of Steers Insurance, while educating audiences about the value of choosing a broker over working with traditional insurance companies.

Steers said on its website that it was seeking a campaign capable of speaking to Newfoundlanders and Labradorians on an “emotional level,” while demonstrating some of the personality and dedication that set it apart from competitors.

How: The campaign is anchored by a 60-second spot that mimics the opening credits of Baywatch, except it swaps out lithe, tanned lifeguards in bikinis and shorts to show a group of brokers—working from an office on the beach, no less—in khakis and sensible clothes springing into action to help customers solve their urgent insurance needs.

It is soundtracked by a ’90s-style power ballad that apes the Baywatch theme song, complete with endearingly absurd lyrics like “So don’t fall in love, we’re just insurance heroes, baby/We sit in our cubicles eating leftovers as we find you the best rates.” It’s an approach that reminds us a little of the wonderful TV and radio spots for Bud Light’s “Real Men of Genius” work more than a decade ago.

The song is performed by Canadian musician Paul Laine, who found some success in the 1990s with emotive hair metal ballads like “Is It Love” and “After the Rain,” and whose music today regularly pops up in TV shows ranging from Pawn Stars and FOX and Friends to CBS’s NFL Today and the long-running British soap opera Coronation Street.

A series of radio spots profile individual brokers, such as Bruce, who is so committed to helping clients that he’s unpopular with insurance companies, who have  bestowed nicknames like “that know-it-all Bruce” and “Oh God, not Bruce again” on him. Each spot features the sting “We’re just insurance heroes, baby.”

Chris Powell