State owned insurer Direct Line is to ditch Stephen Fry’s red ringer and Paul Merton’s motor-mouse in the interests of giving the brand “a human face.”

The human face in question turns out to be that of Thick of It star Chris Addison who will henceforth personify Direct Line in humorous sketchlets featuring other TV comedy people like Pimms man Alexander Armstrong as customers.

Braced for insurance-selling-related hilarity, Bankstone News is hoping the new ads will be a bit like Halifax’s simply marvelous and not in the least bit annoying or smug ISA ISA Baby ads, which certainly don’t make us want to hit the TV very hard and many times over with a large and heavy hammer.

According to marketing newsource Brand Republic, Direct Lime is seeking to position itself as straightforward. “The new advertising introduces a real-world environment,” Direct Lion marketing director Kerry Chunders told BR, “where we can dramatise the different insurance products and offers, while positioning Direct Line as the straightforward insurer.

Click here to see Aleksander Armstrong in action. Look below to see Mr Addison barking like a hedgehog.


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