Aviva launches biggest brand campaign in five years with ‘It takes Aviva’

Financial services giant wants to 'weaponise' its brand and show it is about 'more than insurance'.

Aviva: campaign was created by Adam & Eve/DDB
Aviva: campaign was created by Adam & Eve/DDB

Financial services giant Aviva has unveiled a new positioning, “It takes Aviva”, as it seeks to reassert its role as a market leader and show it is about “more than insurance”.

The campaign, which debuted on British TV on Saturday and was created by Adam&Eve/DDB, is “the most significant investment in our brand for the last five years”, according to Raj Kumar, group brand and reputation director of Aviva.

“Our ambition is to become the go-to customer brand and ‘It takes Aviva’ is that forthright assertion that at Aviva we always strive to go above and beyond our competitors in service to our customers,” Kumar said.

“And internally ‘It takes Aviva’ is about [the idea that] it takes all of us to deliver for all of our customers.”

Shauna MacDonald, a Scottish actress who appeared in TV show Spooks and film series The Descent, features in Aviva’s campaign, which takes place in nature settings in hilly countryside.

“The advert portrays a metaphorical journey that spans a woman's life from her mid-20s into her mid-60s,” Aviva said.

“This passing of time represents life and how the steps you take today have a direct impact on the future.

“The ad depicts the many twists and turns you encounter along the way, with the underlying theme that Aviva can support you on that journey.”

The ad ends with the line: “We all have hopes for the future and no matter what lies ahead, we can get you there.”

In the out-of-home and press work, Macdonald stands in place of the "i" in the Aviva logo in the centre of the image – to illustrate how the customer is “at the heart” of its offer, spanning investments, insurance, pensions and health.

“It takes Aviva” was born out of the company’s new brand purpose, “With you today for a better tomorrow”, which was developed last year, and new chief executive Amanda Blanc’s strategy of making Aviva “the go-to customer brand” across a broad range of financial services.

Blanc, who stepped up from non-executive director last year, has told investors that “capitalising on the Aviva brand” and becoming “the leader in our industry again” are key priorities.

Speaking about the campaign, she said: “Aviva is the only insurer in the UK that can serve all customers’ needs, at every stage of their lives. I want our brand to reflect this, building trust and confidence with our customers that Aviva will be there for them.

“We have a very strong brand. It’s now time to go further and ensure we use our brand to maximum effect to deliver our growth ambitions.”

Kumar added: “We want to weaponise the brand. It is that commercial weapon that will help us grow.”

Zenith is handling media, and Battenhall is looking after social, which “will play a big role”.

Aviva used to be associated with comedy – until 2015, Fast Show comic actor Paul Whitehouse starred as a face of the brand.

Kumar said there has been an “evolution” in the tone of the brand as it has shifted towards “empathy and expertise” – “not only because of Covid”.

He explained why investing in brand awareness and consideration matters: “When a customer thinks about something in our category and you have that empty Google search bar in your head, who’s popping up first?”

Aviva is well placed because “we have all the solutions” across financial services and health but “primarily, though, we are thought of as insurers”, Kumar said.

That’s why Aviva is now keen to talk about “the entire breadth” of its offering and show that it is “able to provide you with solutions across your life” – both for individuals and corporate customers, such as British Airways and Sky.

“Brand is not something separate out in the world to everything else in the business – it is the business,” he said, stressing the importance of brand investment.

“There is no point at which the brand stops and the business starts or vice versa.”

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