Outsmart’s New TV Ad with Curly Watts is Taking the PPI

Outsmart are delighted to announce the official launch of TakingthePPI.com, our latest brand success story and a useful illustration of the necessity of creating a clear and effective brand in any marketing campaign.

The official launch campaign is led by a TV advert starring former Coronation Street actor Kevin Kennedy (Curly Watts) that is currently being shown in a test area and is further backed up with digital and printed materials to reinforce the impact of the TV ads. Early results are encouraging and we hope to expand the campaign nationally in the near future.

TakingthePPI.com demonstrates the need for a strong brand to differentiate your business from the competition. PPI claims is an incredibly crowded market with two key problems from a marketing perspective.

Firstly it’s a market place with a poor reputation amongst consumers due to the activities of some PPI claims companies, such as cold calling. Any campaign therefore has to overcome the audience’s misconceptions about PPI claims companies and educate them on the benefits of the service.

More importantly, PPI claims companies all offer a very similar service and there is little differentiation in price or the ease of making a claim. With few exceptions then you cannot market your business on offering a better or even a different service than the competition. The only way to differentiate your business from the competition then is to create a memorable and distinct brand, one that looks and sounds like nothing else in the marketplace and which audiences will connect with and remember.

Kevin Kennedy Curly Watts TakingthePPI PPI Claims


With TakingthePPI.com the brand started with the name and flowed naturally from there. Irreverent and witty the jokey name really stands out from a crowd and informed the light hearted approach we took with the brand development.

But as well as being memorable your brand also has to communicate the values of your company and those values need to be what your audience is looking for. With TakingthePPI.com the name suggests the values of outrage at the PPI mis-selling scandal; that the banks that have mis-sold this product have been extracting the Michael, to put it politely.

We also wanted to get away from the notion of presenting the PPI claims process as mysterious and byzantine and instead talk to customers honestly, straight forwardly and effectively; cutting through the waffle of other claims companies to get to the heart of the matter. From this we created our strap line and key brand message. “It’s your money, get it back!” A rallying call to arms that is more passionate than the language used by the competition.

taking the PPI logo Visually the use of purple and the faux-hand written font in our logo keeps the company feeling friendly and open, keeping in line with the company values of being on the customer’s side. We didn’t want to look like a bank; we wanted to look like someone that would help you take on a bank.

The last piece of the branding puzzle clicked into place when Kevin Kennedy came on board as our brand spokesman. A naturally likeable and charismatic presence, Kevin was invited into our target audience’s home nearly every day for 20 years. He’s a known and trusted face and he really conveys the idea of the ordinary person going up against a big world that’s out to get you.

Kevin Kennedy Curly Watts TakingthePPI PPI Claims

A really strong proposition is especially important if you’re intending to advertise on television. A great idea for an advert has to survive the input of a number of cooks. The producer may veto certain ideas for cost and practicality issues, the legal team may alter or omit certain wording, approval from Clearcast may require further amends and finally the actor, director and editor all have their spin on the material to add.

It’s easy with so many contributing factors for a weaker proposition to get lost in the shuffle and to end up with a totally generic advertisement. A strong proposition though will survive any changes and still shine through in the end product.

At the heart of everything Outsmart does is branding because we strongly believe in the importance of getting the brand and proposition right to any campaign.  To your customers, your brand is who you are. It’s not just your logo; it’s how you talk to your customers, how your product looks, what values you want to convey and what feelings you want to evoke. So everything we do needs to communicate your brand and your values, clearly and effectively. That’s why we work closely with our clients alongside our keen insight, research and planning to define your proposition and make sure your brand communicates who you are.

To find out how Outsmart could create more effective branding for your business Call 0113 859 1688 or email andy@outsmartagency.com