Post Blog: Memorable insurance adverts

Churchill dog

Despite being derided as the unfashionable, dowdy member of the financial services family, the insurance industry has had its moments in the spotlight, most notably in the field of TV advertising. Post Online takes a look at five of the most memorable insurance adverts.

Guardian Direct (1994) (at 1.54)

In this classic from 1994, in a scene that may have inspired recent US cult TV film Sharknado, a dead-eyed shark bursts through the ceiling of the home of a couple of elderly ladies about to enjoy a fish supper.

As well as having their claim paid - which in itself is no mean feat - the duo open a tourist attraction called the Great White House.

Best Bit - The best part of any Guardian Direct advert - which had an owl as its logo - was the sign off featuring its clever phone number - 0800 28 28 20.

Direct Line (1994)

As good as it is irritating, the pioneers of a then uncharted insurance landscape Direct Line, released this effort in 1994, featuring a variety of characters singing along to its theme, including a sweaty jogger, an office worker and a suit in a crowded lift.

Best Bit - a judge enthusiastically sings the theme to a defendant who claims not to be able to afford car insurance while an over excited courtroom gives a standing ovation. Would read rather differently in today's climate.

More Than (2001)

Lucky the dog was the mascot of More Than in the early noughties. In this ad the canine's owner forgets to pull up the handbrake of his car on a trip to the newsagents. However, despite the vehicle ploughing through an intersection and almost mounting the curb, Lucky and the car miraculously escape unscathed and roll safely into their garage.

Best Bit - Lucky's puffed out owner chasing the car down the street stops at his house wheezing with his hands on his knees. "That's more than Lucky," he tells his wife who is surprisingly unmoved, weeding the front garden.

Churchill (2006)

The advert which bought the nodding dog - which is probably more famous than his political namesake among some demographics - to the nation's attention. Sitting on the back shelf of a car, Churchill tries to convince a doubtful consumer to become a policyholder of the insurer with the same name.

Best Bit - Chuchill's cry of "Oh! no, no, no" became one of the catchphrase of its time. The mid-noughties version of Aleksandr Orlov's simples.

Compare the Market (2009)

Probably the best known, and arguably most successful, insurance advert of the last few years. The ad introduced the world to Aleksandr Orlov, a meerkat justifiably annoyed that his site was being confused with an aggregator with a very similar name.

Best Bit - The brief glimpse of the Compare the Meerkat website featuring Rollerkat and Scubakat - why they were never made into toys in their own right is beyond me.

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