CASE STUDY: ANGRY GERMANS BY ADVOCARD & ACHTUNG! GERMANY

CASE STUDY: ANGRY GERMANS BY ADVOCARD & ACHTUNG! GERMANY

 

Advocard Rechtsschutzversicherung AG is a legal expenses insurer. The company was founded in 1968 and is based in Hamburg, Germany. Insurance isn’t the most exciting topic for the majority of the public. Advocard has employed a traditional approach in its marketing initiatives. For ordinary people insurance products are intangible, generic and it’s really hard to tell them apart. So how could Advocard stand out?
Consider however a much more interesting topic . Conflicts , disagreements and arguments are familiar to all of us. And much more interesting! Nasty words between irritated drivers, obnoxious neighbours or just plain rude people looking for trouble – we all have some experiences with disputes. And Germans are no different; indeed it appears they may be more ‘litigious’ than some…

 

BACKGROUND

Let’s start with a definition.

Litigation is the act or process of bringing or contesting a legal action in court.

Previously  there had never been a comprehensive analysis of litigation cases in Germany. This information is of course very valuable  for a legal expenses insurance provider. And a good conversation starter for insurance Salespeople.

“To begin with, insurance companies are soooooo boring! Usually they are talking about themselves, their own business development and their new products. Nobody outside is really interested in this. So: our idea was to not talk about insurance rates and all that boring stuff. Legal expenses in insurance are three steps ahead in boringness! Let’s instead talk about a topic, which involves millions: dispute-conflict between people. This is a source for content and storytelling,” said Mirko Kaminski, CEO at achtung! Germany.

THE BRIEF

Advocard came to the conclusion that it was time to take a bold step forward. A relevant and engaging topic became the core for future initiatives. They brought the conversation down to a human level. They had two objectives: media coverage and driving sales.

SOLUTION

After persuading the client to take a ‘leap of faith’ with their marketing, achtung! Germany embarked on an extensive programme of deep  data analysis. They decided to map and compose Germany’s first online ‘Litigation Atlas’! Now every German could assess the risk of getting involved in a conflict. The atlas is divided by regions – a smart move to generate regional interest. Bringing such a big project to life showcased Advocard as a really powerful player on the market.; And indeed an authority on litigation (and how to protect oneself against the associated costs)

In order to create the digital atlas, more than a million lawsuits were analysed. The information was then accordingly sorted by terms of cause, duration, amount involved, breakdown by gender and age group.
Mirko Kaminski, CEO at achtung! Germany on the amount of work it took: “It really was a lot of work, because we had to analyse the client’s data and combine it with data from the external sources: administration, universities, etc. Many-many people analysed and interpreted the data so it could be mapped. A lot of work, but it was worth it. For the first time ever, Legal Expenses Insurance was a big topic.”

Attracting media coverage (earned media) was one of the main tasks. The atlas was originally hosted on Advocard’s website, but could be easily integrated on other sites as well. Online news platforms happily picked up on this opportunity. Geo-specific information made it more targeted and appealing to local media (it was automatically a local story in every part Germany!) Therefore, the conversation took off on all levels. Germany’s biggest daily newspaper, BILD, featured a special  preview of the atlas.

The atlas was accompanied by an 18-page (hard-copy) brochure, including all the data which had been analysed. Now, Advocard sales people had a great conversation starter on which to base their sales story. “It’s important to mention that the sales people of Advocard had a possibility to step into dialogues with their clients. They had a good topic theme and carried the actual atlas on their iPads. They could actually demonstrate the volume of risk of getting involved in a conflict in a certain neighborhood – a good argument to sell,” explains Mirko Kaminski, CEO at achtung! Germany.

RESULTS

The Litigation Atlas was a huge sensation and according to Mirko Kaminski changed Advocard’s attitude fundamentally: “Advocard changed its mind-set regarding communication. They went from traditional to innovative. We just completed a new project together: a content platform regarding disputes. It was a logical step after the Litigation Atlas.”

  • A total of 850 mentions in print (front covers of several daily newspapers), online, on TV, on the radio and on social media (within the first four weeks);
  • Total reach of print, TV, radio: 105 million;
  • Exclusive preview in BILD, Germany’s biggest daily newspaper;
  • Every region received insight on how the local inhabitants handle conflict;
  • Advocard was positioned  as a leading authority on litigation and insurance;

 

LESSONS

FIND A TOPIC OF UNIVERSAL INTEREST

For a business operating in such a serious field, it’s easy to get trapped within this niche and to neglect topics that people are really interested in. Talking about great insurance offers has no effect whatsoever on the average person on the street. Whatever the field, engaging consumers means getting down to a human level and monitoring hot i.e. engaging topics. Mirko Kaminski CEO from achtung! Germany agrees: “Don’t communicate YOUR interests, communicate the ones that the society actually cares about! What are the topics for books and blockbusters? And if there is a problem, maybe we can offer a solution? Provide information or description data. Do it in a way that would get people involved.”

IMPECABLE EXECUTION

Not only did they create a unique product (the atlas), they also executed it perfectly. An abstract topic became tangible.  Additionally, this made it hard for competitors to copy the idea. Mirko Kaminski revealed that 9 months later, a competing company tried to use the same materials in their press release. They failed due to poor execution.

MEDIA APPROACH

Geo-specific information and carefully created content achieved required media coverage. It’s worth mentioning that despite the atlas being featured on news sites, it was clearly Advocard’s branded tool (the atlas linked to the company’s website).

Given a chance to do this all over again, Mirko Kaminski, CEO at achtung! Germany would put even more effort into paid media support: “If I’d have the chance, I would support the campaign with more paid media. TV spots or ads and such. Next time we will not hold back on paid media and play it in a bigger way.”

 

SOURCES: The case film; Interview with Mirko Kaminski, CEO at achtung! Germany;

AGENCY: achtung! Germany

AWARDS: Digital Communication Awards Winner 2014;