Direct Line ‘Fleetlights’ creates brand love with drones

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Direct Line positioned itself as an insurance firm that went beyond the norm with a fleet of drones that could light the way for drivers on dangerous unlit roads at night.

Case study summary

• Insurance provider creates felt of drones designed to guide drivers to safety on unlit roads

• ‘Fleetlights’ follows a pre-determined path ahead of the user, while responding and adapting to changes in the user’s journey.

• Campaign achieved 53% increase in quotes for motor insurance and 26% increase for home insurance.

The challenge

Direct Line wanted to distinguish itself in a market domnated by price comparison sites. Creatively this new positioning required standout and had to clearly demonstrate their newly defined role in the category. They needed not only a purpose, but a personality to go with it.

The first idea in what will be a series of activations was targeted at solving the issues that darkness causes across communities in the UK. It is a sad fact that more people die on our roads in the darker months of the year.

Despite the 7.5 million streetlights in the UK, it is still impossible to have lighting everywhere you need it. Perhaps the problem was really the streetlights themselves. As well-suited as they are to cities, in the countryside they are fixed, inflexible and ugly.

The solution

Saatchi & Saatchi created a technological innovation platform aimed around preventing problems before they happen. To make people safer in darkly-lit areas, launched a prototype fleet of torch drones, which are responsive to an individual’s movements and controlled via a bespoke app.

The technology lights a pre-determined path ahead of the user, while responding and adapting to changes in the user’s journey.

The service uses world-first technology to provide lighting that can respond to a variety of scenarios. From driving at up to 60mph to cycling or even wandering back from a country pub on foot, Fleetlights deliver human-centric, flexible lighting.

Designed for safety, the interconnected drones are equipped with high-powered on-board lights. They don’t just follow you, they lead you to where you are going. The flight-control software enables them to be summoned and controlled via GPS technology using your smartphone. All as simple as ordering a taxi.

Direct Line collaborated with Mission Planner technology expert Michael Oborne to create new ‘Fleet Control’ technology. The Fleet Control prototype software enables Fleetlights to be ordered via GPS and mobile technology directly from the user’s smartphone. The technology lights a pre-determined path ahead of the user, while responding and adapting to changes in the user’s journey.

Wendy Pearson, Head of Marketing, Direct Line, said: “Fleetlights is an incredibly exciting project, that demonstrates how Direct Line has taken a real consumer issue and solved it in a high performance way."

The results

Over the course of our partnership with Direct Line, declining quote volumes have completely turned around, delivering a 53% increase in quotes for motor insurance and 26% increase for home insurance.

The work has won numerous effectiveness awards including a Gold IPA Effectiveness Award, 3 APG Awards, 4 FS Forum Awards and in 2016 they were shortlisted for the Marketing Society Brand of the Year.

This project demonstrates the intent for the future and was designed to inspire people about what is now possible.

This project demonstrates the intent for the future and was designed to inspire people about what is now possible. It has received acclaim from as far and wide as Australia and Argentina.
Mark Evans, Marketing Director at Direct Line Group said: “Increasingly, technology will shift the centre of gravity for insurance from restitution towards prevention. We want to lead the trend into this space and so we are always looking at innovative ways to proactively improve everyday life through emerging technologies. We felt that street lights could be much better, especially as the nights draw in. This beta technology has been created to show how a responsive light service could help people to feel safer.”

www.directline.com/fleetlights

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