When two of the largest insurance brokers merged to form Quility, they had an identity crisis – and little brand awareness. Quility had their hearts set on a mascot that could bring their brand to life as well as the promise that insurance doesn’t have to be a painful experience. They tapped Union to conceptualize the mascot, its personality, and create video spots that introduced the mascot with approachable humor. As this was a brand launch, the focus was on awareness – with the major challenge being how to prioritize a lot of brand messages, its services and its unique value proposition.
Union worked with the brand to select the right mascot and thus, Quigley the Porcupine was born. This includes developing a personality guide and backstory to who Quigley is and what his do’s and don’ts are, ensuring a consistent personality and use of Quigley, no matter the partner or medium.
The immediate goal was to develop two video spots that introduced Quility by showcasing Quigley and creating awareness for the brand. The client wanted humorous spots but with so much subjectivity within that ask, Union led the client through exercises to clearly define the humor of Quility. Was it slapstick? Irreverent? Clever? Once Union and the client had shared language and a defined set of requirements, Union was able to brainstorm and refine concepts.
Our concepts contained three main challenges:
Casting the perfect porcupine for our project was no easy feat. We launched a nationwide search and scoured various animal training facilities and organizations to find the ideal candidate. After weeks of searching, we finally stumbled upon an adorable trained porcupine that we believed would be the perfect fit for our project. The handlers were crucial in helping us prepare Quigley (our porcupine mascot) for the shoot. They spent a considerable amount of time acclimating her to wearing a tie and getting her used to interacting with humans in a controlled environment. The handlers also helped us establish boundaries and guidelines for the actors to ensure everyone's safety during filming.
For one of our spots, we showcased a Dad attempting to use his child’s tricycle as a jack stand, resulting in an all-too-expected mishap. To bring this concept to life, we had to devise a safe and repeatable method to crush a tricycle under a car using practical effects. We conducted multiple experiments and tests, placing several tricycles under our EP's Jeep Wagoneer. Surprisingly, our metal tricycle managed to hold up the vehicle, so we had to rebuild it with copper axles that would readily bend once the hidden jack released the car's weight. After we figured out the mechanics, we combined the crushing moment with a separate shot of the actors and a porcupine, ensuring everyone's safety.
Our second concept revolved around Quigly accidentally popping a gender reveal balloon with its quills. To achieve this effect, we needed to pop the balloon in a way that didn't compromise the safety of the animal or scare it. We decided to combine a practical effect with digital VFX. On set, we had a crew member pop the balloon from a safe distance above the porcupine, allowing us to capture some confetti on the table and genuine reactions from the talent. Using VFX, we rebuilt the balloon and brought it closer into the scene, creating the illusion that the porcupine had popped the balloon. We also added extra confetti in post-production to heighten the dramatic impact of the scene. This process allowed us to achieve the desired effect while ensuring the safety and well-being of the animal.
The client was thrilled by the campaigns and have engaged the team to create more Quigly spots to help continue the rollout of the brand across new channels.