Moneysupermarket has taken inspiration from espionage and superhero films in its first campaign by New Commercial Arts, which marks a significant shift in messaging strategy from the work created by former agencies Engine and Mother.

While previous campaigns for the brand focused on the emotional benefits of using the price comparison service – feeling “epic” in Mother’s lauded campaigns, and becoming “money calm” in work from Engine over the last two years – NCA’s first ad, “The MoneySuperSeven”, focuses on the wide range of ways customers can save money.

“The MoneySuperSeven” are a seven-strong group of money-saving specialists, who sit somewhere between The Avengers and Ocean’s Eleven/Twelve/Thirteen/Eight.

Each character is an expert in a key area of comparison offered by Moneysupermarket: car insurance, energy, home insurance, broadband, travel insurance, credit cards and pet insurance.

The campaign launches today (3 September) and comprises 60- and 30-second TV cuts, out of home, video-on-demand, radio and social. It was created by Mary Johansen and Kenny Meek, and directed by MJ Delaney through Merman Films. Media is handled by Mediacom.

Price comparison has often been a category in which brands struggle to differentiate their products from those of competitors, leading them to often rely on memorable marketing – from Comparethemarket’s meerkats to GoCompare’s moustachioed opera singer Gio Compario – to cut through.

Speaking to Campaign, however, Mel Stonier, Moneysupermarket’s head of brand and communications, said that flagging up the brand’s range of services provided a way to stand out.

“Price comparison is a category that has been historically dominated by car insurance in the minds of the British people,” Stonier said. “But it really is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of what savings people could be making if they only knew they could be making them.

“So we wanted to launch a campaign that shows that simple fact unapologetically – that we can save Britain more money, in more ways – and that’s our differentiation.”

The change in creative strategy, Stonier said, came from a wish to “focus ruthlessly on the motivating benefit of Moneysupermarket”.

In previous campaigns, “we were talking about how our customers feel when they save with us, so talking about what we do in a slightly more layered and passive way”, she said.

“Our new strategy is more immediate and we’re getting straight to the point: Moneysupermarket are on a mission to save Britain money, and we can do so in more ways than you think.”

NCA was appointed to the account in March after defeating Lucky Generals in a two-way pitch. Previous incumbent Engine had held the business since 2018, when it took over from seven-year incumbent Mother.

Discussing the creative idea, Ian Heartfield, creative founder at NCA, called it “a tongue-in-cheek Bond/Mission Impossible/Ghostbusters mash-up. Energetic, fun, loud, and unapologetically direct with its message to tell Britain they can save more money on more things.”

Moneysupermarket claims to offer more than 50 ways to save money – so can we expect to see further characters gradually introduced, à la the Marvel Cinematic Universe? And are there any plans for these characters to be used in longer form content?

While Stonier wouldn’t be drawn on whether this is building towards some kind of Moneysupermarket: Endgame, she did say: “We’re just at the start of establishing this exciting new campaign – the squad, who they are, what they do and the different ways you can save. But there’s many ways in which the campaign can evolve and definitely lots more stories to tell (and savings to make…).”

Peter Duffy, a former easyJet and Audi marketer and ex-CEO of Just Eat, took charge of Moneysupermarket as CEO in September 2020. He is also president of ISBA.

Read More