Employing emotion
to create distinction


In 2018, Bupa faced a challenge. With the market in organic growth, competitors were increasing their ad spend and stealing share in the process. As the sector’s leader, Bupa wanted to create a new DRTV advert aimed at those already actively considering a new health insurance policy, by giving them a compelling reason to choose Bupa over other brands.

Motivations for purchasing health insurance are varied and highly personal, which can lead to challenges in creating a concept with broad appeal. Between this and the restrictions of the DRTV format, saccharine, montage-style adverts had become commonplace across the financial and insurance sector, meaning distinctiveness was proving to be a challenge.


With a highly emotive brand advert already in place, Bupa had the advantage. Rather than relying on specific assets to communicate their identity, they had begun to create a ‘brand feeling’ that was uniquely their own.

Using powerful and empathetic storytelling, we carried that feeling in to their DRTV commercial – focusing on the emotional, rather than monetary, value of a Bupa policy and communicating Bupa’s “fast access to treatment” benefit by highlighting its value post-treatment.

By keeping the narrative evocative, but vague enough that audiences could draw their own conclusions as to which of the two characters featured had been ill, and how seriously, we created a story that all viewers could identify with.


Scoring highly against metrics identifying it as inspiring and motivating, the commercial also proved to be distinctive and recognisable, generating a 70% uplift in ad recognition per £1m spend year-on-year. With brand consideration increasing by 16% year-on-year, it also became Bupa’s best performing DRTV advert to date in terms of lead generation.


in ad recognition


in brand consideration year-on-year