PR Case Study: #directfix

When car and household insurance company Direct Line wanted to enhance its “fixing” proposition, Unity took on the challenge to see just what the company could fix. With Longford AFC labelled the “worst football team in Britain”, the agency launched a #directfix campaign with the help of England football legend Stuart Pearce to see what could be done for the ailing team.
Campaign: Delivering a #directfix to the “worst football club in Britain”.
Client: Direct Line
PR Team: Unity
Timing: January – March 2016


The #directfix campaign aimed to bring to life Direct Line’s “fixing” proposition. Over the last year the #directfix team have listened to the gripes of the nation, through its integrated social listening campaign, fixing every day problems – from spilt coffee to broken suitcases to forgotten lunches – in real-time.

In January 2016, Longford AFC had been labelled the “worst football team in Britain” by the media, having lost every game and conceding an average of ten goals per game.

When the #directfix team heard about this they knew something had to be done…


This campaign aimed to reinforce Direct Line’s positioning as a fixer on an even bigger scale in order to fulfil the brand’s overarching objectives to:

  • Establish Direct Line as “fixers” in the public consciousness on a national scale.
  • Leverage the “fixer” brand proposition across multiple channels in a way that drives brand love, engagement and consideration.


Harnessing the UK’s love of football and of supporting the under-dog, Direct Line drafted in England football legend Stuart Pearce to fix the morale of the UK’s worst football team, Longford AFC.

To ensure a wide variety of earned media, the strategy combined the newsworthiness of appointing an England football legend to the UK’s worst football team with the timeliness of the January transfer window.

A robust content strategy was implemented to ensure depth of messaging and positive brand engagement using both direct line and Longford AFC’s owned channels.

Imagery and footage was captured and shared with Vine, multi-image posts and short form content. These were a huge success, with the first Vine video getting almost two million “organic” loops.

A final “hero” film of all the activity was created specifically for social engagement and to solidify the fixing proposition.

The campaign saw the first use of social media platform Periscope by Direct Line, where Stuart’s debut was streamed live via social channels.

Paid media support was added over time to boost the already impressive earned results, with promoted activity happening through Twitter and specialised seeding of the hero film via relevant media outlets and channels. Twitter’s brand new, paid media platform, Conversational Video, was utilised to increase social media traction with the final piece of content.


To date the campaign has achieved more than 288 pieces of earned media across broadcast, print and online, with the activity reaching more than seven million people on Twitter, trending organically UK-wide at launch. This firmly established Direct Line as “fixers” in the public consciousness, with 79% of all media firmly delivering the “fixing” message.

As a result of the activity the campaign has positively driven brand love, engagement and consideration with 98% positive sentiment on social media, a video view rate of 14.31% and up to 23.7% engagement on social media posts.

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