Technology: Brazil to handle AXA's Swiftcover.com brand

Insurance giant AXA has brought in PR support for its lucrative online-only Swiftcover.com spin-off.

Oxford-based marcoms consultancy Brazil has been handed the six-figure brief, which will combine traditional media relations with digital and viral campaigns.

The agency won following a three-way pitch, which included two-year incumbent Lansons Communications. It will begin immediately.

Swiftcover.com promises cheap car and travel cover, with its online questionnaire allowing users to access insurance quotes in one minute.

Brazil's work will capitalise on Swiftcover.com's current ad campaign (pictured), which likens its call centre competitors to battery hens under the tagline 'no clucking call centres'.

Agency managing director Joshua Van Raalte called the ads 'contentious', and said he intends to use the imagery as part of a multimedia campaign, with blogs and an interactive award scheme planned for the near future.

'We are developing a web 2.0 portal in-house,' he said. 'About a third of our work will be digital.'

The six-strong PR team will be led by Van Raalte, with the separate digital campaign to be run by Brazil's creative director Richard Watts, who heads up a team of nine. Brazil will report to Swiftcover.com's marketing director Tina Shortle.

Van Raalte said Brazil would be working closely with Swiftcover.com's advertising, digital marketing and media buying agencies to keep campaigns consistent.

The brand faces tough competition in a saturated market where online insurance sites and price comparison portals rely heavily on clever campaigns to differentiate themselves.

Women's car insurance specialist Sheila's Wheels has relied on Mischief PR to capitalise on its kitsch sing-a-long advertising campaigns, for example (PRWeek, 1 November 2007).

Brazil was formed in 2003 by Van Raalte and ex-Le Fevre PR director Richard Leonard.

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