Mortimer Whittaker O’Sullivan launches Direct Line’s Rescue service
next week with a pounds 3 million campaign that challenges the AA and
the RAC on the speed and cost of their services.
A 40-second commercial, backed by a poster and press campaign,
introduces the insurer’s new breakdown service, which Direct Line claims
can be up to 50 per cent cheaper than those of its competitors. Direct
Line’s familiar red telephone features prominently in the advertising,
this time within an orange warning triangle - the international
The new Direct Line Rescue service is explained via scenarios showing
people who have broken down. The ad starts with a man who has broken
down in his driveway at home. The camera tracks around the raised
bonnet, forming a triangle shape which glows and moves into the top
right-hand corner of the screen. A Direct Line operator appears in the
triangle and reassures the man: ’We’ll be right with you, sir.’
Next, a woman breaks down alone in a run-down urban area and an operator
appears, again stressing Rescue’s speed of service.
Other scenes illustrate the availability of relay vehicles and the value
of the service. The ad finishes with the line, ’This is Direct Line
Rescue and we think we’ll shape up rather well’, followed by the
familiar phone sound.
Rescue offers five levels of service ranging from roadside assistance to
European cover. Motor insurance policy holders with be given a 10 per
cent discount on a Rescue policy.
The commercial was written by John O’Sullivan and art directed by Chris
Whittaker. It was directed by Tony Smith through the Knack. Rapier has
created a direct mail campaign to underline the television and poster
Ian Chippendale, Direct Line Group’s chief executive, said: ’We believe
that by applying the same customer-focused criteria to Rescue as we have
done to all our products, it will be another winner with consumers. As
we already insure more than two million motorists, it is a logical step
for us to provide further support to motorists with an affordable
Direct Line Rescue guarantees a 35-minute response time, a no-claims
discount, up to four vehicles on a policy and individually tailored
A network of more than 1,500 approved contractors has been set up.