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That Pesky Dog

Meet the bulldog of UK insurance companies. The name is Churchill Insurance, and they stick up for you and your claim.

Martin Long founded Churchill Insurance in 1989. His company is recognized throughout the UK as a leader in the insurance industry.

In 1989, Churchill Insurance became one of the first motor insurers in the UK to offer customers the convenience of choosing policy needs and purchasing cover directly from a website.

Churchill has won many awards.

For example, Churchill Insurance has received several Your Money Awards. This award is given by consumers who rate companies for service, product quality and online sites.

In 2005, International Travel Insurance Journal Awards recognized Churchill Insurance as Travel Insurer of the Year.

“Investors in People” is a nationally recognized benchmark, which sets the national standard of good practice when training people to achieve the goal of a business. Churchill Insurance has been recognized for maintaining these ethics.

The advertising strategy of Churchill Insurance is humorous and endearing. Why or how the company chose this name is not recorded. It was a splendid decision, though. To begin, it’s natural to associate the name Churchill with Winston Churchill.

The name Churchill is instantly recognized and admired, not only in the UK but throughout the world. Winston Churchill served his countrymen in military service and in government. His stand against Nazi Germany was bulldog tough.

In the 1930s, Winston Churchill warned citizens of the imminent German threat. He was spot on. Germany launched attacks and started World War II. As Prime Minister, Churchill delivered legendary speeches that held the British people together. Churchill defied German bombers and walked through areas destroyed by the attacks. This endeared Churchill to the citizens. His bulldog determination perfectly matched the spirit of the British people.

When Churchill Insurance picked its company icon, the company chose an animal. Animals represent cultural traits and meanings which are transferred and stamped to the products they are associated with. The animals are fictional. The animal, or trade character, establishes a brand.

The creative department in Churchill Insurance selected the bulldog after a competition among staff. Supposedly, Churchill Insurance wanted to distance itself from Winston Churchill. So what did the company do? It picked a bulldog, the symbol of Churchill. The irony has served the company well.

Aside from the obvious connection to Winston Churchill, people like dogs. Dogs are associated with protecting people. Throughout history dogs have stood guard and warned of impending danger. And dogs are loyal to their owners.

The Churchill Insurance bulldog made its debut in 1994. It developed into the Nodding Dog ™ . The public loved the dog, and the advertising campaign became an immediate public sensation.

Bulldogs have a fierce reputation. However, the Churchill Insurance bulldog is cute and likeable. He has a great smile, a nodding head and he talks.

The Churchill Insurance Nodding Dog™ is the star in numerous amusing TV commercials. One commercial finds him looking out of a toilet bowl. In another, the bulldog is asked if he can prevent an alien invasion. In a straightforward reply he answers, “Oh, no.” But when asked if he can lower car insurance the bulldog replies, “Oh, yes.” The end of the commercial has the bulldog looking at a green outer space alien and telling the alien to “Go home.”

The “Oh, yes” line by the Churchill Insurance Nodding Dog ™ is now famous. Vice Reeves is the voice behind the line.

The Nodding Dog ™ has transformed from a toy dog to computer-animated icon. Toy Nodding Dogs™ are on sale. Its another brilliant marketing tool. In addition to bulldogs, the icon has its own site on Facebook.

A hot air balloon of the Churchill Insurance Nodding Dog™ made its debut in 2004. It is the largest hot air balloon shaped like a dog in the world. It can hold a pilot and two passengers. The balloon makes appearances across the country.

The Churchill Insurance Nodding Dog™ starred in 22 pantomimes in 2009. In 2010, in addition to pantos, the famous bulldog appeared at Pontin holiday camps.

Winston Churchill successfully met a tough challenge. In 2006, Churchill Insurance began a campaign in which Britain’s are invited to “Challenge Churchill” to come up with a low insurance quote for their car and home insurance needs. A new website was created as part of the campaign. A driving game, surveys and competitions are part of the site.

The “Count on Churchill” campaign, launched in 2008, featured the bulldog alongside celebrities, including Roy Walker and Rolf Harris CBE.

The Churchill Insurance company has captured British hearts. The company believes it is meeting the marketing challenge of offering insurance at the best prices for the best coverage. From the use of the Churchill name to its nodding bulldog icon, the company and its symbol are instantly recognized. Churchill Insurance is the new British bulldog, whether it wants to be or not. 

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