The ANNAs digital award: previous winner, AA Home Emergency Response

Campaign Work, Monday, 05 September 2011 06:15PM

The AA Home Emergency Response campaign successfully targeted the audience of the Evening Standard's property section, seeding fake properties to demonstrate events that could befall people's homes.

The AA’s entrenched association as an automotive brand meant that a move into home assistance demanded a fresh approach. Previous roadside assistance communications remained faithful to tried and tested traditional ATL media channels, but in launching the new Home Emergency Response cover, we needed to get people talking.

Our strategy was simple: seed fake property listings throughout the Evening Standard’s property website (www.homesandproperty.co.uk) so that prospective buyers were engaged at the right place, at the right time. The immediacy of the newspaper website environment gave us the perfect opportunity to showcase immaculate homes destroyed in a variety of home emergencies. Faulty showers, burst pipes, electrical faults, boiler breakdowns, pest infestations – each execution dramatised potential emergencies facing home-owners, delivering a wake-up call to cover their own beloved home.    

Executions were specifically targeted to yield the highest volume of browsers, across the widest geographical spread and by the criteria most frequently searched by the AA’s target audience – 35-plus home-owners in London and the South East. Two-bed apartments in Brighton costing between £175,000 and £200,000 and £400,000 lofts in Islington (EC1) were the top two searches. Once the browser had discovered the hoax, the campaign was designed to be immediately shareable through the existing functionality of the site. Users could forward the fake property listings to friends via e-mail or post them to their Facebook and Twitter profiles as if real property listings.  

This bespoke partnership between the AA and the Evening Standard was a first for the property industry. The 30 dummy property listings were supported with "Property of the Week" features, homepage promotions, full-page advertorials and banners. The Homes and Property weekly newsletter to 30,000 subscribers also featured links throughout the month-long campaign.

The drama of destroying picture-perfect homes tugged on browsers’ heartstrings and really got people talking online.

This article was first published on Campaign Work

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