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Captain Risky’s performance is outstripping aliens and French girl says Budget Direct

Budget Direct’s Captain Risky is far outstripping the performance of it’s previous campaigns and has become iconic for the brand, according to its marketing director.

The insurer debuted the latest epic by 303Lowe over the weekend, a year after introducing the character, with the bearded stuntman taking on the challenge of a double-helix jump, only for the ad to reveal the stadium spectacular was just a dream.

“He has been a huge success for us,” said director of marketing and digital Jonathan Kerr.

“We always worked to make sure we earned engagement with the public with our ads and in a sector that is pretty vanilla.”

He said the creation of the character of Captain Risky, after the success the brand had enjoyed French girl mispronouncing the brand ands then with its quirky aliens, had opened an entirely new conversation with consumers that had far outstripped expectations.

“We are always looking for a vehicle that will give us the right to connect with customers – how can we be different? How can we be better? What is really exciting is that our advertising recognition went up and also trust in our brand went up.”

Research conducted after the campaign had been running for nine months revealed that major brand health measures had all jumped.

Unprompted awareness of Budget Direct as a car insurer rose by 25.8 per cent, while advertising recognition levels lifted 30.6 per cent.

Crucially for the brand, perceptions of Budget Direct as a trustworthy insurer increased by 41.6 per cent.

More consumers are also associating Budget Direct with innovation, with the metric rising by 33.3 per cent.

Kerr said the big budget ads had anchored the campaign, the agency had developed it to such a level that there were more than 50 ads ready to be made, ranging from big budget efforts to simple executions.

“This character writes itself,” he said.

“Not every ad has to be huge – but they have to be funny or poignant – but we certainly can deliver quality.”

Since Captain Risky debuted on January 1 last year, Kerr said that the character had made the rare jump from advertising to enter the vernacular and that consumers were now asking when there would be a Captain Risky movie or TV show.

“There are many options to keep this going,” he said.

True to his name, Captain Risky has not had a completely smooth ride, with the Advertising Standards Bureau ruling an ad featuring him in a hot tub with electrical appliances breach guidelines and promoted unsafe behaviour.

Simon Canning

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