Leading the creative for an EY ad campaign

The campaign centred on provoking interest in how EY could help global insurance companies adapt for the future

In 2019, professional services firm EY launched ‘NextWave’, a global campaign designed to show that they understand the way the world is going to change in the medium and long term, and the implication of those changes for their clients. It can be applied to any industry or sector.

In summer 2019, Wardour won a competitive pitch to devise and deliver the overarching messaging and advertising materials for the first phase of a Global Insurance Sector-specific NextWave campaign ahead of a launch in the autumn. As part of that, we would also deliver activation materials to help EY marketing and accounts teams publicise and communicate the campaign.

Two other agencies were involved in the campaign, and throughout the process we had to liaise closely with them to ensure that our messaging chimed with the material they were producing – and, as the advertisements were more fully developed, that their work was reflecting our creative treatments. Part of our role was to coordinate these agencies: chairing weekly update calls, logging progress on multiple fronts and solving logjams.

The campaign had to resonate both with insurance leaders and the wider public across an array of media

We developed an arresting strapline for the NextWave Insurance (NWI) campaign – This Changes Insurance – and a set of eight eyecatching, provocative advertisements that EY used in a wide range of formats: from animated social media tiles and online banner ads to printed posters and even huge versions for display on the digital billboards in EY office reception areas.

The creative approach was intended to be thought provoking and had to work hard to connect both with the insurance sector audiences, while resonating with the public in general. A cute image of two children driving go-karts asked: ‘Will they ever need car insurance?’; an overhead shot of a toaster illustrated the question: ‘If a smart toaster was used in a cyber attack, who would be liable?’

An important component of the campaign was visual and verbal wit. From the start, the client’s favourite execution was a picture of a woman in pink driving a convertible with a pink poodle in the back seat (illustrating a question about identity theft). As in this example, colours were as vibrant as possible, to achieve stand-out.

Through a combination of arresting imagery and provocative copy the campaign inspired people to think in a different way

Overall, the campaign was quite differentiated from the work EY has historically produced; not least because we were sourcing imagery as a new visual identity was taking shape within the firm.

The work provoked a lot of attention across media and social channels, including a high volume of page impressions in the Financial Times and strong engagement with LinkedIn and Twitter posts. We are rolling out further campaigns on the back of it with the EY team globally.

Isabelle Santenac, EY Global Insurance Leader, said:

“This campaign is innovative and provocative. It shows a different facet of EY and helps build our brand around transformation.”

Clients were impressed too. An executive at a US insurance firm said:

“I think this is brilliant. The notion that something like a smart toaster could generate a terror attack is something I hadn’t thought of.”