Bauer Media launches female-centric car insurance brand Stella

Bauer Media has entered into a partnership to launch a female-centric car insurance brand, making a play for the $10.5bn automotive insurance market.

Stella will be underwritten by QBE and sees the publisher partner with Freedom Group, Viper Capital and Envest.

Bauer Media is now under the control of private equity group Mercury Capital with a name change and rebrand imminent for the magazine business as it has separated from its German parent company.

Former Triple J host and comedian, Gen Fricker, will be the spokesperson for the brand and stars in its launch commercial. She is also credited with writing the music for the campaign, which includes a video series and editorial content across Bauer’s brands, as well as digital display and social media advertising.

Bauer will bring its background in marketing to women and insights to the project, while venture capitalist Viper Capital specialises in marketing and start-ups. Freedom Group has previously worked in the insurance space, and Envest in an investment group specialising in insurance start-ups. The difference between Stella and other insurance brands, according to the launch group, is that it’s a product by women, for women.

According to Bauer research, there are more than 4.5m women aged 25-64 in Australia who have comprehensive car insurance. The publisher has also found that women are safer drivers than men and make the majority of household purchasing decisions – but they often don’t understand their car insurance and don’t feel rewarded for loyalty.

Bauer’s content and insights division, Story 54, led the development of the brand launch campaign, including research, talent sourcing, creative, media and communications strategy, and execution.

Jane Waterhouse, general manager at Story54, said: “Women are often overlooked when it comes to the marketing of car insurance, but with our portfolio of brands across food, fashion, entertainment and lifestyle, and homes, and the ability to reach almost six in 10 Australian women every month, Bauer is well placed to address this imbalance. Stella was created to uniquely offer car insurance for women by women.

“We were able to apply our deep understanding of women to form a product and campaign that breaks category stereotypes. As a challenger brand, we have lifted what is a typically male-focused and unexciting category with a touch of humour and strong female talent.”

The Freedom Group’s White – who has an extensive background in insurance and financial services – said she was delighted Stella is now live.

“It’s long been a frustration for me that in the UK I’m not able to appropriately reward women for their better driving abilities (due to the EU directive on gender discrimination in insurance), so the opportunity to launch a female-centric insurtech in Australia has been the realisation of a long-term passion. We really want to change the game in insurance in a number of different ways,” she said.

“The partnership with Aventus does just that. Our insurtech platform delivers a new and cutting-edge customer experience with their proprietary technology. Through Stella, we will hopefully show Australian women (and men) that insurance does not have to be hard to buy, difficult to engage with, or lack relevant and useful rewards. We want people to fall in love with insurance! It’s a tough ask, but we are very much up for the challenge.”

Stella will also support female-focused businesses, with a percentage of premiums used to help fund the next generation of entrepreneurs with the vision of backing 10 new start-ups by 2025.


Bauer Media, Story54

General Manager: Jane Waterhouse

Creative Director: Clare Catt

Art Director: Jen Duong

Content Director: Sarah Macrae

Producers: William York, Samantha Lawrence

Media Strategy: Clare Morton

Account Management: Karla Kempson

Account Implementation: Jade O’ Brien


Gen Fricker


Written by: Gen Fricker, Sarah Macrae, Jane Waterhouse

Production, The Situation Room

Director: Bruce Walters

Producer: Janine Moller

DOP: Geoff Blee


CEO: Sam White

General Manager: Renee Cosgrove

Marketing Manager: Anita Manchester


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