CAMPAIGN: Budget Van Insurance in NoTW calendar link-up

Budget Van Insurance, part of the Budget Group of Companies, is an intermediary that seeks to get 'the best deal' for consumers.

Campaign Dream Dates 2007
Client Budget Van Insurance
PR team Broadgate
Timescale April-December 2006
Budget Undisclosed

Broadgate had already worked on a series of PR campaigns for the firm, including a Transit van giveaway in a tie-up with the News of the World. This time around it wanted to devise an eye-catching campaign that would create buzz across the media spectrum.

To further promote the Budget Van Ins­urance brand in order to secure its target audience.

Strategy and Plan
To appeal to the stereo­typical ‘white van man', Broadgate decided to make a Pirelli-style calendar, although this time comprising photographs of News of the World readers.

The idea was pitched to the news­paper last spring, and after lengthy conversations (the newspaper had not previously produced a calendar) it was approved. The campaign was launched in October with both print and online features, calling for girls across the country to text or email their photos for a chance to be included in the final calendar.

As well as being featured in the free, co-branded glossy calendar (funded by Budget), the overall winner of the selected girls would be offered a cash prize and a 12-month modelling contract with Neon Management. As entries poured in, many were showcased in features in the News of the World and its website.

Entrants were whittled down to just 16, for whom readers had to vote online to select the final 12. The final choice of girls featured in a double-page spread in December, along with an online feature including a slide show from the modelling shoots.

Readers were then asked to nominate their overall favourite - their Dream Date 2007. The winner, Gemma Louise Henry, was announced at the calendar's launch in December. Broadgate sent press releases and photos of the finalists to regional newspapers and radio stations, and continues to send releases to relevant media each month.

Measurement and Evaluation
Apart from the News of the World, regional coverage included the Market Rasen Mail, Lincolnshire Echo, Horncastle News, Grimsby Telegraph, Stockport Times, Swindon Advertiser and Basingstoke Gazette.

More than 1,200 girls entered the competition. Broadgate secured coverage with an estimated advertising value equivalent of £150,000.

In the two weeks after the competition, 10,000 calendars were requested, and after a further mention in the News of the World, demand remains high.

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