InsurAAAnce & Rick Astley Never Gonna Give You Up
To get the word out? We Rickrolled our audience.
Strategically placed, well-coiffed, unbranded QR codes and cryptic bit.ly links surprised and delighted unsuspecting viewers. From wallscapes, mobile truck billboards, and aerial sky-typing, we used local media to launch in unexpected ways. Something people couldn’t help but share—our film quickly evolved into a global internet phenomenon.
Rick Astley was perfect for several reasons. First, the lyrics of his iconic song reinforce our message. Second, it has multigenerational appeal, which was critical to the brand’s growth strategy; we created a genuine experience for millennials, due to their connection to Rickrolling, and GenX and younger boomers due to their love of nostalgia and the original track. Third, the act of sharing was already intrinsic to the Rickroll phenomenon; and we knew that if we nailed the delivery, our audience wouldn’t be able to refrain from sharing their experiences, effectively becoming advocates for the campaign, and by extension, InsurAAAnce.
This helped us establish InsurAAAnce as a brand worthy of consideration alongside US insurance titans while finding category whitespace and cultural saliency.
We set out to:
- Reach and activate millennials, Gen X, and young boomers in key US markets with maximum media efficiency,
- Boost Q3 metrics +20% in key markets with increased leads,
- Increase brand awareness and brand discovery by generating a 20%+ increase in online searches,
- And create a memorable brand engagement driving substantial earned media and positive social response to achieve first-ever mass cultural recognition
Within 24 hours, a new era of Rickrolling had begun—206,000 QR scans from local media placements exploded into +100 million organic views as people shared and reposted.
Celebrities and internet personalities caught on, and our campaign landed the front page of hundreds of major publications. In total, it generated over 700 million US earned media impressions and over 2.2 billion global earned media impressions, transforming a $540,000 media buy into $36 million of earned media in the first week alone—a 65X return.
increase in online search YoY
increase in insurance quotes YoY
lift in new policies, generating an 84% increase in insurance premiums
2023 Effie Awards
- Timely Opportunity – Products
- Media Innovation / Commerce & Shopper
2023 Webby Awards
- People’s Voice Winner – Video, Viral Marketing