Donatello, Bumblebee and Robocop bring character to Direct Line campaign

Three licensed characters come to the rescue in major UK insurance campaign, brokered by Born Licensing

Written by Rhys Thomas

Posted 09.03.2020 | Watch

Donatello, Bumblebee and Robocop bring character to Direct Line campaign thumbnail

Licensing takes centerstage in a new marketing campaign from UK insurance firm Direct Line, with starring roles for RoboCop, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle brainbox Donatello, and Bumblebee from the Transformers franchise.

In a world-first TV and VOD ad break takeover, each character is the star of its own spot, which launched simultaneously across ITV, Channel 4 and Sky on 6 March, and is estimated to have reached 7.5 million people.

The deals were brokered by Born Licensing, on behalf of MGM, Viacom International Media Networks and Hasbro, whose Director David Born says the adverts’ “amazingly cinematic feel… will no doubt have viewers wanting to watch the adverts again and again”.

“We’re thrilled to share this brilliant example of how powerful characters can be in advertising,” he says.

The Donatello spot shows the tech-savvy turtle in striking CGI skateboarding his way to a plumbing emergency, only to discover that Direct Line has beat him to it.

“The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is an evergreen property and Donatello a much-loved hero whose popularity transcends generations, making him the perfect fit for Direct Line’s family focused campaign,” says Venetia Davie, VP Consumer Products, ViacomCBS Networks UK and Ireland. “These adverts are a fantastic example of how licensed characters can be the basis of marketing campaigns with standout appeal.” 

Meanwhile Bumblebee is involved in an action-packed journey from an auction house to a minor car accident, where he learns that Direct Line has already sent a taxi to the scene. And RoboCop finds himself negotiating through city streets on a motorbike to an office space, but he too finds out that Direct Line has beaten him to save the day by replacing stolen laptops.

Wendy Moores, Head of Marketing at Direct Line adds: “Our customers know that the second anything goes wrong, we will leap into action and have them covered. Our new campaign suggests that we are so good at doing this that we’re even better problem solvers than some of the world’s best and most loved heroes, to ensure we stay ahead ofthe insurance pack.”

The campaign consists of 3 x 60-second adverts along with cut downs and will be supported by out of home placement on billboards, buses and bus stops, as well as print, online, radio and social media activity and takeovers.

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