CategoryA03. Brand or Product Integration into an existing programme or platform
Entrant Company CUMMINS & PARTNERS Melbourne, AUSTRALIA
Contributing Company CUMMINS & PARTNERS Melbourne, AUSTRALIA
Production Company THE GLUE SOCIETY Sydney, AUSTRALIA

The Campaign

There are no restrictions on including branded content on Australian television. But the sheer logistics of what we pulled-off for CGU Insurance make it unlikely anything similar will be attempted anytime soon. We had to negotiate for permission to include two minutes of branded content during the live Sunrise broadcast, the first-time this had been granted. And we had to obtain permission to use the IP of the Sunrise brand in the subsequent advertising campaign. We had to produce a two-minute film about CGU Insurance customer, David Sonter, without him knowing. And to make it compelling viewing, we decided it needed to include his family and friends. We had to arrange a community breakfast to ensure that David would be in the right place at the right time to see his 'Sunrise Surprise' - and film his reaction. And we needed to invite the rest of David's community to ensure he didn't suspect what we had planned. We then had to plan a live-cross, from a rural town, to Australia's highest-rating morning show. And it had to be at exactly the right moment or we'd miss our broadcast window.


CGU Insurance know that small business owners work extremely long hours. Consequently, many of them receive their news early in the morning - before they leave for work - from breakfast television. Australia's highest rating morning TV show is Sunrise. Coincidentally, they were also they ones to break the story of the 2014 Blue Mountains bushfire. Sunrise thus became the most appropriate place for CGU Insurance to tell David Sonter's story. But due to the emotional narrative of the story, a normal 30 second commercial wouldn't suffice. And placing long-form content in morning television would require an Australian in-program first.

In 2014, Australia’s highest rating morning show, Sunrise, broke one of the biggest stories of the year: the Blue Mountains bushfires. CGU Insurance customer, David Sonter, was one of the worst affected. His small business lost everything. Yet, just 12 months later, David had staged a remarkable recovery. So to share David’s success, we teamed CGU Insurance with Sunrise for an Australian in-program first. On the first anniversary of the fires, we arranged a community breakfast. David came with his family. And then, with him not knowing and Australia watching, came the Sunrise Surprise.

Total viewership of David Sonter's story on Sunrise peaked at 3.1 million people. It only ran for two minutes, but its effects were far reaching for CGU Insurance. Brand recognition improved 278% from the previous campaign, far exceeding norms in the Australian financial services category. Sales calls went up 18% and policies sold up went up 17%, all entirely attributable to the campaign. Consequently, CGU Insurance's share of the Australian insurance market has never been higher.

Australia's highest-rating morning television program is Sunrise on Channel Seven. In 2014, Sunrise broke one of the biggest stories of the year: bushfires in the Blue Mountains region in eastern Australia. Many small businesses were lost - CGU Insurance customers among them. 12 months on, most had begun to recover, but none more so than nursery owner, David Sonter. His business was booming. With the first anniversary of the bushfires approaching, we knew that Sunrise, having first broken the story, would be planning their own special coverage of events. So we asked them to include one more, for CGU Insurance. We wanted to surprise David Sonter live on air, during the Sunrise broadcast, with an emotional film about his remarkable recovery. Two minutes of CGU Insurance branded content with a live cross from a remote rural town, our 'Sunrise Surprise' was an Australian first.