Campaign: For AA Loans, Just AAsk
Agencies: Rapier, Manning Gottlieb OMD
Principal authors: Max Wright, Rapier; Stuart Garvie, Manning Gottlieb
Media used: TV, print, outdoor, interactive, radio, direct marketing,
press, sales promotion
In September 1999, Centrica bought the AA and began the process of de-mutualisation. Back then, the AA had two core businesses: breakdown services and insurance broking. Both were coming under increasing pressure from competitors and commoditisation, and the AA needed to find a major source of revenue to grow the profitability of its portfolio.
It decided to beef up its loans businesses, choosing above-the-line media for the first time in 2001. It advertised in low-cost but high-response motoring titles at first. Then, after it had learned more about its audience, the AA moved into national press and online before trying regional DRTV campaigns.
Business was picking up nicely, but the group wanted more growth, and the goalposts were moved. In January 2002, it appointed Rapier to work alongside Manning Gottlieb OMD.
The "Just AAsk" brand slogan, already in use for other AA products, was rolled out for its loans businesses, positioning the brand as a problem-solver. The breadth of the campaign was considerable. In two years, it saw 34 different press executions in 67 titles, three inserts, four online executions, four posters, two radio commercials and two TV executions.
The solution has helped AA Loans become a major force in the notoriously competitive unsecured-loans market. Not only did its loans business double, but it saw an increase in return on investment of more than 20 per cent.
The judges' view
Since entering the ultra-competitive loans market, the AA has made great strides, growing share and increasing the efficiencies of its communications mix. This paper describes how the AA has consistently tracked and optimised its return on investment.