NRMA Insurance drives home Christmas safety message in new 'Long Way' film via The Monkeys

NRMA.jpgWith Australian roads busier than ever before, NRMA Insurance has released a moving new film via The Monkeys, to inspire drivers to take extra care behind the wheel over the holiday season.

Titled 'Long Way', the two-minute film is the first piece of work created for the NRMA Insurance brand in partnership with The Monkeys, since being appointed in September.

The film tells the heart-warming story of a young girl called Indy who misses her grandparents at Christmas time. Motivated by the pull of her love, Indy's grandparents embark on a slow but safe journey to surprise her on the big day.

VIEW THE SPOT
NRMA 2.jpgThe new film is the start of a shift in brand direction for NRMA Insurance under the leadership of Brent Smart, chief marketing officer for IAG and its stable of brands, including NRMA Insurance and CGU.

Says Smart: "This is a return to the type of storytelling and tone of voice that has made the NRMA Insurance brand loved, and signals the new direction we are taking the brand in.

"It's exciting to make something together with our new partner The Monkeys. We are in such good creative hands with their team."

With NRMA Insurance claims data showing that car collisions increase over the holiday period, the film is also a timely reminder for drivers.

Says Scott Nowell, co-founder and chief creative officer for The Monkeys: "This brief was a gift in itself - to convey the warmth and emotion of what's truly important this time of year."

NRMA 3.jpgNRMA Insurance is an industry leader in advocating for safer driving and the only insurer in Australasia with a dedicated Research Centre. The insurer is also piloting a new app called Safer Journeys to help motivate drivers to 'switch-off' their mobile phones behind the wheel.

The 'Long Way' film was directed by Christopher Riggert, and features a moving soundtrack with vocals by singer-songwriter Tom Odell.

It goes live this Sunday 10 December across broadcast, cinema, customer and social media channels.

Client: IAG
Brand: NRMA Insurance
Chief Marketing Officer: Brent Smart
Creative Lead: Liz Stokes
Marketing Lead: Erin Bennett

Creative Agency: The Monkeys
Co-founder & Chief Creative Officer: Scott Nowell
Senior Art Director: V. Wassim Kanaan
Senior Copywriter: Andrew Fraser
Senior Producer: Jade Rodriguez
Executive Planning Director: Fabio Buresti
Planner: Henry Bilson
Group Content Director: Humphrey Taylor
Senior Content Director: Katie Wong-Hee
Senior Content Manager: Jack Stone

Production Company: FINCH
Director: Christopher Riggert
DOP: Tim Tregoning
EP: Rob Galluzzo & Corey Essey
Producer: Camilla Mazzaferro
Offline Edit: The Butchery / Jack Hutchings
Sound: Song Zu

68 Comments

Charles said:

Massive underwhelming

That script again said:

Is this for Qantas?

? said:


"Indy's grandparents embark on a slow but safe journey to surprise her on the big day."

No fucking kidding.

The Marketing Train said:

Congrats Monkeys, you've done what the marketing bloke did in America, fuck things up.

flawed said:

promotes unsafe driving ?

What the? said:

So jump in the car in the middle of the night and drive is their safety recommendation?!?

Ok said:

So that's weird

Drive "safely" said:

Last-second lane changes ftw!

Ashley Martin said:

Why drive when you can take the Brent Train.

Oh dear. said:


Take away the saccharine but competent direction and what's there?

What's the idea?

Comparisons to Qantas are unfair as their saccharine films have never really claimed to be anything other than bland marketing feel-good waffle.

What IS this?

And why does Brent Smart talk like Steve Jobs when all he wants are two minute ads from 1995?

The Monkeys have just shown what their future direction will be.

And it's the dull, faceless dream of the corporate machine that owns them.

Designed on powerpoint, influenced by John Lewis, researched to death and more proof that a sad Coldplay wannabe piano track doesn't make your ad better.

I'm sad for The Monkeys.

I'm sadder for Australian advertising.

Anna D said:

Love this! And love the comments from the miserable haters. Well done team

Maxwell said:

Start a new job.

Fire your team. Change your agency. Produce this dross.

Vintage year.

Tess said:


What's the idea?

It's Christmas yeah? Grandparents can't go. The kid's sad.

I love it already. What happens?

They go.

You see, THIS is the type of work that will change the paradigm.

It's proactive.

Yes. It's proactive.

Regurgitator said:

I like their old stuff better than their new stuff.

a said:

The biggest problem for me was she took the Bondi exit at the last minute but still ended up as if she'd gone straight ahead.

Dark Sense of Humour said:

Would have made a good TAC ad or even a compelling NRMA ad if they'd rolled the car when they tried to do the last-second lane change in the tunnel. And it would have made more sense of the end line.

Paul Yole said:

Reading the anonymous negative comments on here from a few embittered people reminds me why I'm glad I retired.
The Monkeys and the NRMA have some very talented people who don't need someone like me to say "well done" but I'll say it anyway.
Well done.
I'm pretty sure the ad will appeal to the people who count - normal members of the public.

Sarah said:

After all that talk in the trade press from the new CMO and all those guest spots at conferences I was expecting something a whole lot better.
What an embarrassment for NRMA.

Paul Yole said:

Some of the anonymous comments on here remind me why I'm glad I retired.
I'm sure that normal members of the public will like this work, so well done.

JaimesLegless said:

Back to the way the brand should be and not muppet character drivel M&C created.

Everyone said:


Safer not to drive with those two old coots out there!

Not so said:

What Maxwell and The Marketing Train said, did NRMA check out their new hire's track record in the US.? Makes for great 'googling'.

ex M&C said:

At last the creative juices are flowing at M&C. Pity they didn't get fired up before they lost the business. Now, sadly, we can only see their passion in the comments section here. I'm sad for M&C. I'm sadder for Cam who's got to try and fix the mess.

Good job said:

The punters will love it.

Mike Mcnaughty said:

My parents would be like 'seriously, you should have called ahead, showing up like this is ridiculous, we haven't got you food and all the shops are shut cos it's christmas, where the heck are you gonna sleep?'

WTF is with the hella dramatic music? The random drone shots too? Did the cinematographer have a chat to the editor and was like 'dude, I just bought this drone and it's bloody sick so you better cut in random footage of it now and then' Or was the editor like 'no one will realise how boring this shit is if I cut to a drone shot.

Old Mate said:

I think the editor thought we wouldn't notice how boring this is was if they cut to drone footage in the middle of scenes

Qantas. said:

Err.. can I have my ad back?

Rumour mill said:

I heard M&C produced an entire new campaign but the new CMO came in and canceled all the work, with millions written off in production and media dollars. Can anyone post the work he canned? And what was the reason he didn’t run it?

Realist said:


A pair of Grandparents, loving their daughter and grand child enough to make the trip from the country to the City despite the 'bad leg'? Real.

Hundreds of every day, beardless, tartan-shirtless, instant coffee loving people will do the same - knowing the Knights of the Road are there, should they need them.

A Road train nearly takes them out? Real.

Our roads are a joke - you take your life in your hands driving interstate anywhere in Australia during any holiday period.

A message of caution about road travel from the ONE brand that has the authority and goodwill equity with consumers to do so? Real.

Have any - any - of the snivelling little shits, who've commented negatively above, ever done these things, or ever thought about anyone other than themselves?

Also real.

You people are the mind and mood of the shite you mire yourself in - the kind of nefarious and speciously parochial home boys and girls, who populate the school grounds of an elitist dystopia - the cancerous ooze, that leeches from under the scab of your menial, lowly, underwhelming little lives.

Sorry the oldies didn't die at the end to make the 'line come to life'.

Sorry the 'edit' spoiled it for you (twat).

Sorry you think the client is a see-you-next-Tuesday, with a track record of firing shit people, just like you.

Sorry you're stuck in an agency that would never have the talent, the wit, the skill and persuasiveness that comes from real experience and have the restraint to look clincially at all the scripts presented judge what's right - what's the most appropriate - thing to say to people at this tie of year.

I truly despair at you people, sometimes, I really do.

Stop. Revive. Survive. said:

Definitely don't watch it before you drive.

Monkey? said:


Dear 'Realist' or 'Senior Monkey' as you seem to be. Many, many people lost their jobs this year. Most of them from a Marketing Department that had some of the highest brand tracking scores seen at NRMA for years. This was deemed unimportant, so those people have been waiting with baited breath for what was promised to be a revolution in the category. Today sees that revolution. A laughably overlong Qantas wannabe. Not only is it overly familiar, and seemingly devoid of a concept, it overstays its welcome in about thirty seconds. It's just an ad with an addy soundtrack. I'm sorry, but anything less than the second coming of a Marketing God would satisfy the vast amount of people affected by this change of direction. There is a trail of destruction in New York and now you've inherited it with a big corporate smile.

So suck it up.

Realist the 2nd said:

The ads not bad but not great either, I expected more of an idea coming from The Monkeys. In my opinion I think all the negativity here is squarely aimed at one person with a track record of screwing things up. Have a read of some of his previous adventures. I think this commercial is just an example of him being all talk. I wonder how the people at IAG got to hire someone with such a track record.

http://www.adweek.com/agencyspy/saatchi-saatchi-new-york-has-its-own-in-house-troll/84242

Uber it instead said:

Definitely a message here. Don’t let grandparents drive on the road at night and don’t be a cheapskate. Book them an Uber for Christmas and we’ll all be safe.

Really real said:

I lost my job over that?!?!

The real problem said:

When are we going to stop agency bashing each other and point to who is really responsible for the work? Clients get what they deserve and in this case, they probably got what they asked for.

WDG said:

What happened to Mr Confidence?
That was genius. Very strong vibes.

The other guy said:

We are all so quick at pointing the finger of blame at the agency but who is really responsible for signing off work, who is asking for this kind of work. It's about time the clients are dragged through the ringer. We all know how hard it is to get anything out the door so let's start making clients responsible. They only get what they want, so send complaints to the marketing department.

Maxwell said:

Start a new job.

Fire your team. Change your agency. Produce this dross.

Vintage year.

Tarzan said:

Monkeys hear Brent.Monkeys do.

confusing said:

2 very old people decide to pull an all nighter and get behind the wheel? What??? That is suppose to inspire extra care behind the wheel this Christmas? I'm confused...very bad idea....accompanied by a very bad performances. Cannot believe this got through the keeper

Willoughby said:

Let me get this straight, this guy, who's in his early forties, and has only ever worked in agencies decides he's going to become a CMO, after a fairly unimpressive history in the US as an ad guy. A big,but struggling Australian insurance co pay this inexperienced guy a fortune to be CMO and resurrect their brand.He fires the entire marketing department,fires the agency(at least 40 people out of work between the two) and gives it to a new agency with no pitch and no process.
He then writes articles for any mag that will print them. Speak at any conference that will have him.All the while telling us that that agencies don't know what they are doing. Especially Australian agencies.
He would of course know given his SPECTACULAR success in NY.
And then we see his first work as CMO.
It needed to be a whole lot better.
Tick,tick,tick.

Now I’m really depressed said:

Advertising 101 - sell the company name not promote a general idea. So where is the outstanding result for NRMA? Moody indulgence for the creative team, general idea of driving safely and supposed connection to NRMA through osmosis and a frightening couple tackling Christmas highways. The frustration of seeing these so-called heart wrenchers is knowing emotional stuff looks good at presentations but ignores the high impact of light hearted comedy on the Australian market. This is a perfect client to drive home a great company profile message using humour but all gets lost in the tears. I was hoping for an NRMA truck to turn up and get this mega road-risk couple off the highway! It’s easy to be critical certainly, but this campaign says lock up your olds and nothing about the client. John Lewis and Qantas have a lot to answer for, and NRMA should start asking for more like Air NZ.

Maurice said:

It's an ad people, settle down. But frankly, what's better for NRMA - a plagiarised 'confidence' character with jokes straight from the ad world christmas cracker and another prototype 'fire blanket' (there are still a lot of sharks around the Ballina area M&C) or what you're all commenting on?

Resolute Onyx said:

M&C-like mediocrity from the Monkeys.

Irony, anyone?

Shaking my head. said:

Seriously, everyone who worked on this should hang their heads.

I know it's not very trendy to ask this, but seriously, why do the monkeys have a reputation as some sort of creative hotspot? The majority of the work I see from them is average, or like this, well below average.

Charles said:

Hello Maurice.
You again. Haven't heard from you in a while but the memory of your nasty,negative presence lingers on in the corridors of 99 Macquarie St.I also remember why you were fired, which of course I won't speak of here.Maurice I won't wish you a happy Christmas because no doubt you are one of those people that HATES Christmas.

Copy Desk said:

All that matters is what makes it to the screen, and whether the people it's actually made for respond in the right way.

Most people won't give a shit about the machinations of the ad world, or marketing departments, or who cupped whose balls to get the account. Oblivious. They won't compare it to past years' work. They won't feel dismay at what could have been. They won't lament, turn to each other in disbelief and say 'where's the idea'?

Most likely they'll think 'nawww, cute!' and 'long drives usually do involve a few close calls' and perhaps more subliminally they'll appreciate that fact NRMA isn't trying to sell them. Which is great for brand likeability. And if they set out on a trip over the holidays, maybe they'll remember the couple who surprised their granddaughter with a trip.

This is not a spot for you. It's a spot for everyone else; for anyone who's ever missed anyone; who's made a spontaneous decision or a grand gesture.

I'm tired of seeing work torn limb from limb on this thread. I also love it, love to pull up a chair, grab a bucket of popcorn and watch the show. But occasionally it's a drainer, like now. Why such vitriol?

Forget your opinion for five minutes. Go ask someone who's not you, who's a long way from you. Like a middle aged woman reaching for mince at the supermarket. Seriously. Pull out your phone, stand awkwardly together for two minutes and watch the spot. Then ask them to bear with, fire up CB and invite them to leave their two cents worth. I'm happy to wait.

Tess said:


To be honest 'Maurice,' like it or not, the 'Christmas Cracker' Confidence work was one of the most successful campaigns for NRMA in years.

You see, that's what advertising is really isn't it.

Doing the job for the client who pays you for it.

And making sure it's very successful whilst hopefully not being too shit.

If your ONLY measure of advertising is if you feel it's not to the taste of the Surry Hills elite, then I suggest you start painting or sculpting.

Advertising obviously isn't for you.

I think many people simply believe this work will do very little for NRMA, which will ultimately be the doom of both Brent Smart and his new agency as the previous work (which you hate) was so successful.

Funny business eh?

Tess said:

Copy Desk:

This is an unusual and especially highly charged piece of work, as it signals the direction that the new CMO believed both his agency and his entire marketing department weren't up to - so he fired absolutely all of them.

And now those people are angry because their unemployment was due to THIS AD.

And it's shit.

So go ahead and ask Mrs Miggins in the mince aisle what she thinks about a tv commercial.

Alternatively, ask her to tell you what it's like to be made redundant just before Christmas because of a tv commercial.

X said:

There seems to be an awful lot of lamenting a loss of Confidence here - probably not the same posters who posted these comments?

http://www.campaignbrief.com/2016/08/nrma-insurance-gives-customers.html

Its not surprising that the prior agency and most of the marketing team appear to have been let go if the comments on here are a reflection of the creative culture they personify. Or perhaps they think this is they way to win the next client, the next account or the next job - by openly slandering the last.

Now I’m really depressed said:

@Copy Desk - Fairly insulting to presume the criticism from advertising professionals here does not take into account what your patronising lecture indicates. Gee, who would have thought to take into account a mince meat customer - thanks so much for ramming home the point. Yes there we all are, slaving away at creating stuff for ourselves and our LinkedIn folios. The reason this ad causes such feedback is because most professionals can see this does not work for all the reasons you so earnestly have listed. I would not put this up as an example of professional advertising that has any major impact on anyone we awkwardly get to creepily watch with us in a supermarket. With the budget I as a professional who makes ads for the market, would hope for much more than an “naw cute”!!

Get over yourself said:

What a bunch of heartless bastards you folks are. This is absolutely beautiful filmmaking. It's a so human, emotionally engaging and just a joy to watch. Congratulations to all the clever people who made it.

Rod Steiger said:

There's a reason this place is called Campaign Bitch. What a cesspool.

The ad looks nice and it'll work a treat on people who haven't racked up in a while.

It may not win any shiny golden awards, but if there's a trophy for being self absorbed wankers, you bitchy pricks are a shoe in.

Stewart Reeves said:

Having not been in Australia for a number of years, I periodically check in on this site to see what friends have been doing and to catch up on the work.
I watched the ad before I read the comments, I teared up, I felt something. The craft, the edit, the direction all worked together to elicit an emotional response, I loved it.
Is it Guinness Surfers ? No, is it supposed to be? No. Its a small story told with subtle but assured direction.
Then I read the comments and I remembered one of the reasons why I left, the hate from anonymous bloggers was so vitriolic, so personal and seemingly vindictive.
Its easy to hate when we don't own our comments, simple to disparage when we hide behind witty handles. Petty jealousy combined with a small minded attitude creates an industry that is so insular, it only rewards those on the inside. Its not art that we make but Adverts, and an industry that only appeals to its peers is not an industry at all but a clique of naval gazing white guys stroking their hipster beards.

The Producer said:

The film would have cost in excess of $1million.It can only run for the next 15 days as its use by is Chrismas eve.What a sad sorry waste of money. The inexperience of this guy is evident.

Sydney Poitier said:

There's always a Rod Steiger..'the ad looks nice and it will work a treat'.How do you know that Roddy? Presumably you have a crystal ball.Australians are not dull.Don't patronise them by serving up dull ads like this.One last thing don't call me a bitchy prick you smug bastard.

Smart said:

"I’ve always believed that clients get the work they deserve. "
http://www.bandt.com.au/advertising/brent-smart-agencies-dont-want-to-be-stucck

Rod Steiger said:

Mister Poitier, there are more people outside of this venom pit who will respond positively to this ad, those are the people who matter, those are the opinions that matter. And my apologies, I meant to say bitchy redundant prick.

Let’s not forget... said:

I think if you come in full of bluff and bluster, you set yourself up for industry scrutiny. And the new CMO did that.

The film is nicely made, but ordinary. And there’s no bigger crime than failing ordinary.


Kiwi said:

Let's not forget is absolutely right.This is clearly a case of 'put up or shut up'.Mr Smart has been everywhere spruiking the Gospel According to Brent maligning many good people along the way.Is this bad work?No it is just very ordinary and generic and lacking any commercial reason to exist.Chief MARKETING officers are expected to MARKET.Did this great Australian brand have nothing to talk about ,no point of difference,no Christmas offer,no greater community message apart from a lame Drive Safely.

Hey copy desk/realist said:

... or should I say planner that worked on this. And yep, you're the same person. Congrats. You're passionate. And the ad is terrible. Be constructive. For once. What's the insight?? And are you actually proud of this?? I'm sure the CMO is.

Copy Desk said:

@ Hey copy desk/realist

Terrible sleuth work.

Actually not a planner, actually didn't work on this. Thanks for playing, you'll go home with some great prizes.

It really blows my mind that smart ad people can't entertain the idea that an unconnected party would defend someone else's work. Am I wrong to not hate it, to not blast it with my withering critique, to not castigate the faceless evil that allowed this to happen? No, of course not. It's called an opinion. You've got one, I've got one too.

But I will humour you, even though I'm just a workmanlike writer at a nice, vitriol free agency. I'll have a stab at your question.

What's the insight?? [sic] (so confident it has no insight that you used TWO question marks)

How about:

People who normally don't drive long distances during the year are more likely to do so over the Christmas break, and may underestimate potential hazards.

Wow. You had trouble figuring this out?

Let's have a go at the proposition:

Remind people to take care on the roads this Christmas.

So that

If they do have trouble, they think of us.

Mindblowing. You really couldn't nut this one out?

A story is a great mnemonic device. More than a montage spot. More even than a brilliantly clever ad construct. It's how we're wired. We've been telling each other stories since before we can remember. So while you focus on another opportunity lost to the abyss of mediocrity, tens of thousands will remember a quiet spot, a nice story and a simple message. Which will stay with them.

I am in interested observer . . . said:

and he appears to destroys everything. This is a consistent pattern. It is not an opinion . . . NRMA, Saatchi & Saatchi, General Mills . . .

Parnell said:

Left Colenso to be MD of BBDO San Francisco and lasted about 6 months.

I’m a salty redundant bitch said:

Hahahaha i can’t believe how many salty bitches there are on this. Don’t you guys have anything else to do with your precious time? Good story

What is happening to our industry? said:


Can't wait to see this win at the Effie's.

Well done. This is lovely work.

Emotional connection. Relevance to product and brand.

How many of you haters have achieved those two things at once lately?

Not in advertising a punter said:

So here’s one view from a viewer:

I saw this ad for the first time tonight. I was compelled to keep watching. Whilst I was watching I thought “What is this ad for”, “The oldies are going to die, this going to be a government drive safe shock ad” and then they arrived safely and the NRMA logo came up ... I thought “Bloody hell there are a lot of conflicting messages in there encouraging unsafe driving. Bad decisions with a good outcome. Not a great message.”, “They must have realised this and put that clip in with lots of coffee cups to show they rested” but really “I reckon this ad is going to get pulled”.

Then I looked over at my 14 year old daughter and she was crying and embarrassed she was crying at an ad. She said “that’s so beautiful”.

I have no idea what you advertising people want us to think or how you want us to react but there is my reaction in a nut shell. Love to know whether you would be happy with that reaction or my daughter’s reaction or not.

I guess it also made me get on the web to show my wife the ad (really to show her what made my daughter cry than to show her the ad itself) and I’ve ended up for the first time on an advertising website.

Your comments compelled me to write trite (also rare for me). I can see a lot has gone on in your industry and this specific client and agency and emotions are raw. Wow!

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