Confused.com – bye bye Cara, hello Brian
By Andrew Barratt on Wednesday, June 5, 2013
Kudos to Confused.com for taking the initiative to change their brand image from a deranged cartoon psychopath. ‘Cara’ – a woman so mad/confused she pulled out all her hair except 10 or so strands, and didn’t know the lyrics to YMCA thinking the Village People were actually singing about saving you money rather than frequenting a hostel.
‘Cara’, now “retired to Barbados” (according to the sites webpage), is replaced by Brian the robot. The brainchild of Publicis London.
Whilst I agree the re-brand is much needed, it does sicken me somewhat the lack of subtly in the transition period of going from kooky cartoon to 80’s robot. There are 2 ways brands can re-brand: do a Chernobyl, close it up and forget the past or be a bit a more clever with it and actually make the brand evolve. Confused.com has ironically become more confused – the link between Brian and Cara makes no sense. I like to see a bit of genius continuity with brand development, rather than blatant denial of what was before. Fine, admit that you need a re-brand – but I would have preferred the client brief or agency advice to not have been simply to wipe the slate clean and start from scratch again. Maybe it’s just me – but it’s like ending a story with “oh and it was just a dream” or writing out a character from a sitcom and just saying “oh he’s on holiday in the Caribbean (with ‘Cara’)”.
Having said that – despite being a cross between Disney’s Wall-E and a Doctor Who monster – I do think Brian is good fun.
The recent PR activity, activated by Ogilvy PR London, in which Brian wins a race against Team GB Olympic 100m sprinter Adam Gemili is good. This is to communicate that Brian is the “fastest insurance comparison robot in the world”. It’s a pity for Confused.com that Gemili is owned by Nike and the sports brand also gets some good air time. However, it’s a good idea, a nice brand mascot and ‘Cara’ – and her cartoonist – do indeed deserve to be erased from history.