Mortimer Whittaker uses softer tone for new Direct Line ads

LONDON - Direct Line is launching a pounds 3 million airtimen assault with a new television campaign for its Home Insurance nbrand, which will run alongside its sponsorship of the Granada Better Homes series.

The work, created by Mortimer Whittaker O'Sullivan, is part of a new softer theme for Direct Line. It emphasises Direct Line's claimed understanding of its customers' lives instead of focusing on price, although the familiar Direct Line jingle and the red telephone still feature.

The TV spots, which will run for six months from the end of May, featuren a small boy calling to his mother, who is out of shot. While mum does the ironing, the child reminds her how Direct Line replaced an old carpet and cooker under its "new for old" cover.

For the sponsorship work, MWO has created DIY Dave, whose DIY disasters illustrate how Direct Line is aware of homeowners' problems.

The sponsorship will air from next week, when Better Homes goes on

air. It will run for six weeks.

The two campaigns were written by Leigh Wallace and art directed by Neale Horrigan. Sam Miller of Mustard Films shot the TV advertising, while Nick Jones at Rogue Films directed the idents. Media planning and buying is being handled by MediaCom.

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1 Job description: Digital marketing executive

Digital marketing executives oversee the online marketing strategy for their organisation. They plan and execute digital (including email) marketing campaigns and design, maintain and supply content for the organisation's website(s).