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

Build an emotional connection

The success of the initial Rhonda and Ketut series was measured by Ogilvy, which found between its launch in October 2011 and April 2012, AAMI experienced a 21.7% increase in new business opportunities – a particularly high result considering the saturated insurance market.

Hack says in a mature market it’s usually difficult for brands to differentiate themselves through any factor other than price, but AAMI’s creation of Rhonda and Ketut facilitated an “emotional connection”.

“Most products aren’t unique, but it’s how they’re presented by advertising which makes the real difference.

“The target audience generally isn’t interested in the product, but if you can create a campaign like this and get people to take notice and speak to the audience in a relevant way, then you will see people take action.”

Turn popular characters into brand ambassadors

Since the advertisement series first launched, Rhonda and Ketut have been making appearances at events to further promote AAMI.

Hack says this strategy has turned the characters into brand ambassadors.

Companies such as Apple and Old Spice have done similar things with popular actors in ads.

“With a good creative and an entertaining brand story, there are so many opportunities to build a brand ambassador out of a character. One of the great things about the Apple campaign was that the production costs of those ads were nothing.

“The creative was that good that it was really just copywriting. This again demonstrates the power of a good creative, you don’t need a big production budget or a huge investment with bells and whistles for it to be successful,” he says.

Despite the benefits, Hack says a risk of turning characters into ambassadors is that the brand gets too tightly associated with the character and then the brand becomes “beholden to the talent”.

Timing is key

Hack says AAMI’s decision to limit the number of Rhonda and Ketut campaigns was a clever strategy to avoid people tiring of the storyline.

“The best method to get the timing right is to research your target audience and understand how they feel about the campaign.

“When you’re internal with the campaign, you’re working on it 365 days a year and from a psychological perspective you get sick of it, but the consumer doesn’t have a tenth of the touch points that you do with the campaign, so sometimes campaigns can be ditched too early,” he says.

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