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Admiral Launches New Animated TV ad

Published on Tuesday, 18th June 2019, contributed by McCann

McCann Bristol and Studio AKA create fictional town of Admouth featuring Sally Phillips and Stephen Mangan

McCann Bristol - part of McCann Worldgroup in the UK, has created a new animated TV advert for Admiral in a major departure from the insurer’s previous strategy. Narrated by Stephen Mangan, it also features the Admiral, voiced by Sally Phillips, her trusty canine sidekick and customer George.

Created in partnership with production company, Studio AKA, the new advert is based in the distinctive fictional town of Admouth. It launches an entirely new animated brand campaign for Admiral that will run across integrated media.

This first TV ad, called Smartphone, tells the story of George who haplessly tries to turn off his central heating using a smartphone app. However, things don’t go to plan. He accidentally dents both his cars, knocks over the garden wall and turns on a fire sprinkler. Luckily, George has Admiral MultiCover, which combines car and home insurance in one policy.

Admouth is the creation of Zane Radcliffe, writer art director, McCann Bristol and Ken Sara. Director Steve Small and his animation team at the BAFTA-winning Studio AKA brought the animated world to life. The look and feel is reminiscent of traditional model animation, creating endearing characters that inhabit a beautifully rich and diverse English seaside town. Backed by a team of CGI artists and animators, the resulting work is charming, bright, heart-warming and maintains the feel of stop-motion.

“We wanted to create a cosy coastal town that reminded us of a nostalgic past, alive and well in today’s world. Many of us grew up with traditional model animation, which was an inspiration and starting point for the ad. Not only in the look, but also its gentleness and warmth. Despite depicting an unfolding crisis in the central character’s life, it remains relatable and manageable thanks to the world we created. It’s full of light humour and hugely memorable,” commented Steve Small.

Alex Murphy, Marketing Director at Admiral added: “Moving to animation is a big change for us and we’re delighted with the result.

“We think this campaign will help us build a meaningful connection between our brand and consumers. The aim is to be distinctive and show that Admiral products make consumers lives easier by offering a simple solution in a complex world. This advert encapsulates it perfectly. I’m already excited about our new Admiral’s future adventures.”

Jon Elsom, Group Executive Creative Director, McCann Bristol, added: “We’ve taken a loved character into a new era with the Admiral in Admouth. She’s a real part of the community. It’s full of quirky Britishness with a handcrafted feel. We’ve created a bright, optimistic and colourful town the brand can inhabit for years to come.”

The advert will air from 16th June in a 40-second format, which will be followed by 30, 20 and 10-second versions later in the year. It will be aired on ITV, C4, UKTV, C5 and Sky. Cinema goers will also see it via Pearl & Dean and DCM.


Name of advert: Admiral SMARTPHONE

Credit list:

  • Client: Admiral

  • Agency: McCann Bristol

  • Direction: Steve Small

  • Production company: Studio AKA

About McCann Worldgroup 
McCann Central is a part of Worldgroup which is a part of the Interpublic Group (NYSE: IPG), a leading global marketing solutions network united across 100+ countries by a single vision: To help brands play a meaningful role in people’s lives. Ranked as the world's most creatively effective marketing services company, the global network comprises McCann (advertising), MRM//McCann (data science/technology/relationship marketing), Momentum Worldwide (total brand experience), McCann Health (professional/dtc communications), CRAFT (production), PMK-BNC (entertainment/popular culture), Weber Shandwick (public relations) and FutureBrand (consulting/design).