Why Just Start a Brand ‘Movement’? SafeAuto Hilariously Goes Full Insurrection

Joan rallies 'the rest of us' with first work for the low-cost insurer

SafeAuto's pledge to offer 'Insurance for the Rest of Us' accidentally sparks a revolution in Joan's fun new ad. - Credit by SafeAuto
Headshot of David Griner

It feels like every third ad campaign these days hopes to inspire a “movement” that changes the course of human civilization by offering subscription air filter delivery or meatless brisket or whatever.

SafeAuto, an insurer focused on low-income drivers often overlooked by most major providers, certainly would like to start a cultural shift by bringing monthly options and legitimately affordable coverage to the masses.

But instead of attempting an overly earnest ad campaign about improving the world, the brand decided to see what would happen if it took the idea of a righteous brand movement to its most ridiculous extreme.

In SafeAuto’s first work from agency Joan, which won the account through a competitive pitch last summer, we see a mild-mannered outdoor campaign about its “insurance for the rest of us” slowly ignite a social uprising that boils over into a full insurrection.


In a rare coup for any agency, the campaign was actually one that Joan presented while pitching the business. Joan co-founder and CEO Lisa Clunie said it captures and amplifies a brand personality SafeAuto has already been building in a crowded marketplace.

“They have a really cheeky personality, and I think with that spirit of humor, we can turn that into this feeling of being not a corporation,” Clunie says. “It doesn’t smack of glossy corporate stuff. It’s an everyman’s version of insurance.”

While the anthem spot, “We Are the Rest of Us,” pokes fun at how brands like to think their ads can change society, Clunie says the message still comes from an authentic place thanks to SafeAuto’s focus on drivers who are trying to make ends meet and want the most affordable coverage that will let them drive legally.

“There’s a degree to which this is just ridiculous, how overstated a lot of these things are about, ‘We’re going to fix the world!'” Clunie says. “But in our little way, we do do a lot for people who’ve historically been left behind.”

Joan executive creative director Dan Lucey describes the campaign as “kind of joking around about something that’s very serious.”

“Trying to make the world a better place is something we’re all for, 100%,” Lucey says. “With car insurance, it’s hard for to make the world a better place necessarily, but at the same time we do think what we’re offering can make people’s lives better.”

In addition to the rebellion-themed spot, the campaign includes a less epic yet somewhat meta ad about a high-volume conversation among the crew putting up the brand’s new outdoor ads. (And yes, the out-of-home ads will actually go live in key markets.)


“This new creative platform, ‘Insurance for the Rest of Us’, speaks to SafeAuto’s challenger spirit,” says Sloane Stegen, consumer demand director for the brand. “We’re an insurance company that was built to help regular, hard-working Americans get and stay on the road, safely. It’s wonderful to be able to express our fighter spirit and the loyalty we feel to our customers.”

CREDITS:

Client: SafeAuto
CEO: Ron Davies
Director, Brand Management and Consumer Demand: Sloane Stegen
Media Director: Courtney McCormick

Agency: JOAN Creative
CEO: Lisa Clunie
CCO: Jaime Robinson
ECD: Dan Lucey
Copywriter: Bryce Hooton
CSO: Magnus Blair
Strategist: Hannah Lewman
Head Of Production: Daniel Marin
Executive Producer: Melissa Tifrere
Director of creative services: Becca Patrick
Production Company: Spark & Riot
Director: Nalle Sjöblad
Editorial: Mack Cut
Editor: Nick Divers
Sound: Sam Schaffer
Music: Duotone
Color: Co3
Colorist: Tom Poole
Visual Effects: Ambassadors


@griner david.griner@adweek.com David Griner is creative and innovation editor at Adweek and host of Adweek's podcast, "Yeah, That's Probably an Ad."