Direct Line is taking its cue from the film Sliding Doors in a new TV campaign to underline its transformation from brash newcomer to established player in the insurance market.
A driver and his alter ego feature in a pair of commercials breaking nationally this week, beginning what the company says will be an pounds 8 million promotion of its core motor insurance business during this year.
Direct Line launched in 1985 and is now Britain's largest private motor insurer with 10 per cent of the market.
Mortimer Whittaker O'Sullivan has produced the 30- and ten-second films, which continue to feature the familiar music and red telephone icon but mark a significant departure from previous advertising by concentrating on the service benefits of a Direct Line package rather than on price.
The commercials show a driver separating into two people . The first is unaffected by an accident because the driver of the other car is covered by Direct Line. The second fears he will face weeks of worry because the other driver is not insured by Direct Line.
Tim Mortimer, the agency's managing partner, said: 'There is so much more to Direct Line insurance other than just low prices and it's time we asserted this in our advertising.'
He added: 'This is mature, contemporary and confident advertising which is appropriate for a company of the status of Direct Line.'
The commercials were devised by the art and copy team of Neale Horrigan and Leigh Wallace. They were directed by Zadoc Nava of Rose Hackney Barber. Media buying is through MediaCom TMB.