Minor spend equals major impact for the king of insurance

By: King Price

A little laughter goes a long way… A case in point for King Price and *those* viral ads. The upstart insurer’s humourous brand tonality, which sets it apart in the cluttered market, is brought to life on a shoestring budget that’s an extension of its ‘why pay more’ attitude. And, it’s working.

King Price is attracting 12,000 new policies a month on a very tight budget. Spending just 3% of what a major competitor spends on above-the-line channels (according to AC Nielsen stats), the king of insurance signs up 1 new client for every 2 that choose this competitor.

When King Price launched in 2012, with its unique business model that decreases car premiums monthly in line with the cars’ depreciating values, the industry sniggered. “They didn’t expect us to last more than 3 months,” says Natalie Bisset, partner of marketing. “But, a few weeks short of our seventh birthday, we’re not just surviving… We’re thriving. From a R100 million start-up, we were valued at R3.3 billion at the end of our 2018 financial year, and our business grew by 94% last year. But the number we really love throwing around is that we’ve saved our clients nearly R150 million in decreasing premiums.”

How do they do it? From a marketing perspective it’s about making every cent count twice – and taking the gap. Bisset knew that billboards weren’t being utilised as a direct lead generator by other insurers, so she jumped in with both feet. “We pretty much own the outdoor space in South Africa. More than 115 billboards right now, more every month, and the results speak for themselves.”

The king of insurance is also all over the online space. But, the most expensive ad word on Google is ‘insurance’, costing $54 or R780 per click, and this level of spend doesn’t fit into the lean and mean King Price culture. So, online efforts cultivate organic searches, with a direct ‘click for a quote’ call to action. Tracked growth shows an increase from 500 monthly searches for ‘King Price’ in the early days, to around 45,000 every month now.

“Sales and marketing work as a team to stay on top of what’s working and what’s not, and our marketing push is through SMS, TV, outdoor, social and banners, while the pull is through our site, the 0860 number and Google,” explains Bisset.

“We’ve always had to use courageous freedom to put our brand out there, and our approach of not taking ourselves too seriously seems to work,” says Bisset. “We’re on the consumer’s side, we just happen to sell insurance. This, combined with the fact that we all need to laugh at ourselves and our difference, brings us closer together as South Africans.”

The 3 ads that King Price released last year – the farmer doing something sexy to a tractor; the young man paying lobola with ‘kettle’; and the motorist and traffic cops discussing a ‘braaai’ – are all viral success stories. Their latest ad, called ‘on your cycle’, repeats the same pay-off line: When others don’t make sense, we do. And hilarity aside, it’s bound to get people talking because it’s linked to a social issue that affects women and girls.

“We always say that we take what we do very seriously, but ourselves… Not so much,” says Bisset. “Our new ad is funny because, if we can make people laugh and take the ‘grudge’ out of insurance, we will. However, like our previous ads, it highlights what makes us different. We’re the only insurer that decreases premiums monthly; in other words, the only insurer that makes sense. On top of this, it links to an issue that we feel very strongly about and we’re intent on #MakingADifference in this sphere.”

To watch the latest ad, click here