CAMPAIGN: Halifax set to protect Manchester homes - Financial services

Homes in Greater Manchester are at a high risk of crime, with the burglary rate in the area far above the national average. Halifax General Insurance decided to increase awareness of this risk as part of a wider marketing and sales push in the area for its Halifax Home Insurance products.

Campaign: Home security advice from Halifax Home Insurance
Client: Halifax General Insurance
PR team: The Smart Agency
Timescale: October 2007 - January 2008
Budget: £10,000 - £15,000

To raise awareness of the risk of burglary and the need for home insurance. To position Halifax Home Insurance as an expert on home security and to drive sales for its insurance products.

The Smart Agency focused on two key seasonal times when homes are at a greater risk of burglary: in October when the clocks change and in the run up to Christmas when homes are full of presents.

Greater Manchester Police gave advice and recommended the force's former crime prevention head David Heathcote as a spokesman for the campaign.

When clocks were due to change, a press release was issued detailing the 5,000 burglary-related claims that Halifax has received over the past five years from Greater Manchester residents, totalling around £6.6m.

A Halifax survey mentioned in the document found that six per cent of local people regularly left doors unlocked when away from their home.

Press releases were also sent out in the first weekend in December and the week before Christmas, detailing research from OnePoll. They discovered that 200,000 households were left empty at Christmas, with a fifth of those going away saying they had no plans to improve security before setting off.

The campaign generated 25 mentions, including two articles in the Manchester Evening News. Radio coverage included features on BBC Manchester, Century FM and was also featured on local satellite TV station, Channel M.

Evaluation carried out by The Smart Agency found all coverage mentioned Halifax and 60 per cent promoted either specific products or key messages.

In the week after the clocks changed, a dedicated telesales phoneline set up by Halifax received 100 calls.

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