Moneysupermarket: You’re so relying on brand equity
Each month, The Adquirer provides insight into the creative and media strategies of industry-leading advertisers in a particular sector. Estimated cost per web visit results are provided by our data scientists, utilising sources including Hitwise, Nielsen and BARB.
This month, we look at four advertisers in the congested comparison site market that have a similar target audience of 55+ year olds, living the suburban life and sitting down to Corrie and Emmerdale in the evenings. The challenge with this industry is proving who stands out with the clearest message and best rewards for using them over the others. You will also see that a lot of faith goes into brand recognition and the viewer already knowing who the advertiser is and understanding exactly what they do.
Here, we explore the similarities and differences in their media and creative strategies, and the different calls to action at play.
Moneysupermarket has become known for its quirky and unusual advertising offerings, ever since the chap in denim shorts, heels and large cartoon-like posterior, graced twerked danced his way onto our screens a few years ago. Their creative approach has become a key talking point within the current hot topic in advertising; with attention, chatter, discussion, reach, exposure, engagement and of course let’s not forget actual customer acquisition performance all do battle for strategic prominence in campaign creation. So, let’s unpack their creative and media strategy from our own customer acquisition angle…
Maintaining the ‘feeling epic, you’re so Moneysupermarket’ underlying theme, the latest spot replaces the He-Man and Skeletor Dirty Dancing version with Action Man, who happens to be in the middle of an exploding warzone whilst explaining over his walkie-talkie that he has ‘saved with Moneysupermarket’. Cue an entire army of action figures dancing whilst removing their uniforms…wait what are we selling again??
The creative mentions “saving” but at no point do you actually find out anything more about what Moneysupermarket offers and compares, never mind a particular reason to respond. Everyone is simply celebrating Action Man feeling epic.
Now, on one hand it could be said that their ads are so ubiquitous and well-known that they do not need to explain much more than that, and it’s simply a case of being noticed. One cannot deny that their ads are indeed memorable. As Hermeti Balarin from their now ex-creative agency, Mother, said: “Every time one of these come out, they get talked about more than the programs they interrupt.” But does being the entertainment, and getting people to talk about the ad, translate to advertising and business success?
Furthermore, if you didn’t already know about them or their offering, would you understand what’s going on from this ad? Their logo and hashtag (no URL is shown) only appear for the last 4 seconds. The comparison to the explanatory uSwitch ad, and the close web visitor numbers compared with the vastly different media spends, seems to illustrate that more needs to be done to attract new – and reactivate previous – customers for Moneysupermarket. This became even more evident in February of this year, when shares fell 25% after their earnings missed expectations, prompting the move away from Mother.
As two leaders in this space, it is no surprise that searches for the brand terms of Moneysupermarket and Compare the Market (CTM) drive traffic to each other’s site. Looking at data from Hitwise in the chart shown below, we can see that the term ‘Money Supermarket’ results in a visit to CTM 3.55% of the time, and CTM reciprocates to the tune of 2.8%. Especially in an ultra-competitive market such as this, it is imperative to harvest the absolute maximum from TV performance, and help your competitors as little as possible. This can be in the form of paid search and SEO techniques to ensure the search results page is dominated by your business and your business only.