The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) launched their much-awaited TV advert recently and talk of its quirky content has already spread across the internet. The advert, starring a model head on wheels of Terminator star, Arnold Swarzenegger, encourages consumers to apply for PPI refunds before the cut-off date of 29th August 2019.
Arnold Swarzenegger says: PPI, Do it now
The FCA’s new advert shows confused shoppers being followed around a supermarket by an animatronic Arnold Swarzenegger head, reminiscent of his classic sci-fi film Total Recall, while they struggle to decide on what to buy. The robotic Arnie chases customers with Terminator-like determination, shouting “Make a decision. Do it now!”, repeating his famous line from 1987 action movie, Predator.
The ad campaign is designed to get consumers to decide whether or not they want to claim for missold PPI, and to make sure that they make that decision within the next two years.
While the campaign is rumoured to have cost £42.2m, the banks and lenders themselves are footing the bill. The advert itself cost over half this budget at £24.4m, with the remaining money going towards setting up customer helplines, funding extra staff and any other costs that are sure to increase once more people see the TV advert and are encouraged to claim for PPI refunds.
So, what are people saying about the ad?
The general consensus has been largely positive and news outlets have touted the ad as a funny and creative way to get consumers to pay attention.
The advertising company behind the campaign, M&C Saatchi, designed the ad to “cut through the white noise on PPI”, and media platform, The Drum, heralded it as ‘Ad of the Day’.
Comment sections and social media suggest that consumers are taking the advert well, with jokes such as “There appears to be a Total Recall on the ability to claim from 2019” on The Guardian, and over on Twitter, @auntiepegg tweeted: “Can’t stop laughing at the #PPI advert”. So, it seems that the campaign is being received well.
But has it actually worked and steered peopled to find out if they can claim for PPI? Results from the first week of the campaign seem to suggest so, with 480k hits to www.fca.org.uk and users spending around 3 minutes on average on the site.
The helpline has also been busy with over 4,000 calls answered and 97% of them answered within 20 seconds.
So, will the advert “stick around”?
Mark Davies, spokesman for PPI claim management firm, We Fight Any Claim, who went to court against the FCA to try and prevent the deadline from being imposed, described the advert as just “making noise” and “burning up the [FCA’s] budget” and suggested that the money would be better spent trying to contact consumers directly.
But while the public are divided on the campaign, the main point is – they’re talking about it – and of course we all know that any press is good press. If the quirky advert gets people talking about missold PPI and applying for refunds in time for the deadline in 2019, then it seems to have been a success.