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Why Sky Is Happily Ever Smarter with a Fairy Tale-inspired Launch into the Insurance Market


Sky’s Tamsin Carmichael and Shane Larkin talk to LBB’s Laura Swinton about the modern, magical launch of Sky Protect, bringing safety and insurance to their growing connected home ecosystem

Why Sky Is Happily Ever Smarter with a Fairy Tale-inspired Launch into the Insurance Market
Once upon a time, there was a broadcast company that dreamed of becoming something bigger. It wished upon a star and became Europe’s biggest media company and pay TV broadcaster. Over time it became a telecoms giant adding broadband and mobile. And then in 2022, it created its own, next-generation TV set, the Sky Glass. As it grew, it magically transformed into a company that could keep people connected and entertained at home and on the move. And now its latest transformation takes it further - its newest product will help its customers keep their homes connected and safe.

Last week Sky launched Sky Protect, a new tech-enabled home insurance offering underwritten by Zurich Insurance. Connected cameras, leak sensors and a smart app will allow users to stay connected to their homes, wherever they are. 

Fitting snugly into Sky’s ‘Made of Magic’ platform, the new product has launched with a fairytale-inspired campaign that sees an incensed Mama Bear catch Goldilocks in the act of raiding her home on camera, and a high rise-dwelling giant making sure his beloved Golden Goose is safe from Jack. The campaign has been developed with a collaborative group of agencies. AKQA led the development of the TVC, with Sky Creative overseeing through the line and other markets, Nonsense spearheading the social first element, TPF overseeing experiential and Mediacom guiding the media strategy.

According to Shane Larkin, market and prop director, the decision to move to enter the home insurance market, with a techy twist, came from the insight that the sector is in need of a bit of disruption.

“Sky has always had a knack for identifying large markets, perhaps where consumers are a bit frustrated by the service. Sky comes in and has been able to then bring some innovation to that space and actually serve those customers with something better. And the insurance market was identified as one of those markets, in which there were some customer frustrations. There hadn't been a lot of innovation in that space for a long time,” he says. “We've got a track record of doing that. We did that with broadband, did that with mobile, and insurance is gonna be the next one on the list.”

Shane explains that the new proposition differs from other offerings, creating a holistic ‘prevention and cure’ approach, bolstered by technology. “The tech is there, primarily to help you protect the home and keep you connected to the home. So you can actually check in at any time through the cameras. It's all controlled in the Sky Protect app. So, anytime, anywhere, you can check on your dog, cat, golden goose, whatever it might be,” explains Shane.

The decision to get playful with fairy tales came from the need to create connection with consumers and overcome the indifference people often feel when it comes to insurance, as Tamsin Carmichael, head of brand and advertising for Sky Protect explains. 

“I think the main thing that we had to overcome is a bit of customer apathy,” she says. “People don't want to think about things going wrong at home, they don't want to think about insurance, that's for sure. So coming at this in a way that is inherently ‘Sky’, imbued with all of our ‘Believe in Better’ spirit, that has entertainment magic on top was really critical to how we approached this.”

The choice of fairy tales for this launch campaign was a strategic one. The Three Bears and the Giant from ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’ are not only iconic characters in their own right, they’re also closely associated with being house proud and protective of their homes.

There was also much to balance when it came to getting the tone right. From an emotional and creative perspective, Tamsin says it was vital that the fairytale characters felt modern and relatable.

“It was really important to us that we're not telling fairy tales in a sort of comic or cartoony way, that it was a modern retelling and modern reimagining of fairy tales, and that it wasn't just any old characters,” says Tamsin. “They’re living the experiences of our customers, whether it's watching their pets when they're out and about or looking at their home with the tech. It's really important that their pain points, their experiences, the everyday use of this product was represented and flowed through into the campaign.”

But that realism also serves a serious regulatory purpose too, as Shane explains. “It's obviously a regulated product. So we were also very keen to make sure that this felt like it could be you, it could be your house, it could be your situation. So alongside that, we were having to balance the regulatory and compliance side of the business along with the creative side. The scenarios have to be played out in a way that would be true to life. Even the structure of the houses that we've portrayed had to be to look at it in a particular way, so they would be actually insurable properties”

Nonetheless, there was still lots of fun to be had in the development of the Sky Protect world and the design of the characters and their home. Tamsin laughs recalling some of the surreal conversations she had. “We were having conversations about bears and giants. ‘How ‘golden’ does a goose go?’ ‘If a giant had an iPhone… How big would it be compared to his hand?’ The questions were really funny. We were really lucky, we had a brilliant crew and production crew, both on set and then back here for post production. There were lots of sort of post conversations around colour and, ‘If a bear was angry about Goldilocks, what would their eyebrows look like?’ Really random conversations!”.

And that magic that the team has created is bleeding into the real world with a rich experiential activation at London’s Westfield Centre. They’ve recreated the bear cabin and giant’s apartment, and there’s also a special appearance from the ‘Hansel and Gretel’ candy cottage. Tamsin says that the experience has been created with lots of Instagrammable moments in mind, and it opened over the recent UK Bank Holiday weekend with story readings and brand ambassadors on site.

The team has ambitions as high as the giant’s beanstalk when it comes to pushing brand awareness and the number of customers they want to bring on board. They’re hoping to replicate the success and scale that Sky has achieved in the mobile and broadband market.

But, more than that, the launch represents the next step in the evolution of the whole Sky brand and business towards one that encompasses the home and connection in a holistic and fully-rounded way. And from there, the Sky’s the limit.

“The common theme with all these markets is home, and being connected to home,” says Shane. “It was just home insurance, you'd think, ‘Okay, Sky’s in the home, and that fits’. But the fact that it's home insurance plus the technology, which is connectivity, to your home, it's taking what makes Sky great at the core, which is entertaining the home, being in the home, being there for people, and now protecting that.”


Agency / Creative
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Categories: Finance, Insurance

Sky, Thu, 11 May 2023 16:10:00 GMT