Rhonda and Ketut return: Five lessons from AAMI’s popular marketing campaign

It isn’t very often an insurance company manages to win over the Australian advertising market, but AAMI has managed to do just this with its ‘Rhonda and Ketut’ ads – and the company has revealed some of its tricks of the trade.

Speaking at the Mumbrella360 conference yesterday, AAMI’s marketing executive manager Richard Riboni said there will be one more ad in the series.

But Riboni also said the ads have been taken off screens in order to avoid annoying customers.

The strategy is a smart one. Customers have responded well to the ads, even creating Facebook pages such as ‘The Sexual Tension Between Rhonda and Ketut’.

Speaking at the conference, general manager of marketing company Ogilvy (which worked with AAMI to create the campaign) Michael McEwan said the page topped 115,000 likes at its height.

“We actually got out of the way of it. We didn’t try to control it, we didn’t try and restrict it,” he said, as quoted by Mumbrella.

“We take no credit. That’s exactly what you want. You want people in the real world to become fans of this, people having fun with these characters,” he says.

Marketing agency Taboo’s strategy director Richard Hack spoke to SmartCompany about the success of the campaign and offered his take on what businesses can learn from Rhonda and Ketut.

If you’re selling a ‘dry’ product, bring it to life

Hack says one of the fundamental strengths of the campaign is its primary focus on the benefits of being with AAMI.

“AAMI has taken the pretty straightforward dry product of car insurance and shown the benefits of the savings in terms of lifestyle and turned it into something more aspirational,” he says.

Hack says the casting of the characters as relatable, ‘real’ people has taken the initial concept further and made it appeal to a wide audience.

“They’ve done very well with the casting and the way they’ve evolved the characters,” he says.

Create branded content

Hack says AAMI’s story demonstrates the successes of ‘branded content marketing’, which blurs the distinction between what constitutes marketing and entertainment.

“They’re getting to the sweet spot of the campaign where it can now evolve the story and it’s become more like a series of episodes. The audience just want more and more, and it’s starting to become a story.

“People are talking increasingly about branded content and this is that concept in action,” he says.

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