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Panic as motorists slapped with fake summons!

Nearly half a million motorists woke this morning to discover they’d been slapped with a ‘parking summons’.

Panic quickly turned to relief, however, when car and motorcycle owners realised they’d been pranked with a fake parking fine.

The stunt was part of a major marketing campaign by new online insurer Budget Direct Insurance.

It is believed to be the first time a marketing ploy on such a scale has been attempted in Singapore. Named Operation National Summons, it was planned with military style precision.

Around a 300-strong team was deployed at car parks across the island. Working throughout the night, moving around like ‘summon aunties’ in a tightly coordinated operation to cover some 2,000 car parks.

Simon Birch, CEO of Budget Direct Insurance, said he wanted the campaign to be different to the usual traditional insurance advertising tactics. “We wanted to do something that hadn’t been attempted in Singapore before. A stunt that had humour, was cost-effective and would get people’s attention. So we brought our message directly to our target customer.”

He added: “It couldn’t be a flyer, we wanted to make sure people read it. It looks like a summons, so you’re going to take notice. Your heart is going to skip a beat when you think you’ve got a fine but all ends well.”

The aim of the campaign is to highlight the insurer’s promotion of ‘Pay Less or get $100’. If motorists get a cheaper quote elsewhere for their car insurance renewal, then Budget Direct Insurance will pay them $100, even if they don’t buy.

Motorists also got a free breakfast thrown into the bargain with the redemption of their ‘parking ticket.’

Luke Tay, Creative Partner of Co:hort Communications, who helped create the stunt said the scale of the project was unprecedented and took many months of planning.  He added: “Using parking summons is a direct and relevant way to reach out to motorists. Combined with the chance to save $100, it makes a compelling offer.”

In a competitive market, Simon Birch, CEO, recognises insurers have to work harder and smarter than ever before.

He added: “Insurers are having to get more creative with their advertising message and its delivery. We have exciting plans in the pipeline. But at the end of the day, it comes down to price, quality of your product and service. Customers save money with us because we don’t pay any agent fees or cover risky drivers. We make use of the latest technology and invest in our customer service and claims people who are all based in Singapore. These are the things we’ll win on.”

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media@autogeneral.com.sg