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#BehindtheCampaign: Naked's tongue in cheek #StopHoldMusic campaign where hold music is the new rock 'n roll

#StopHoldMusic, Naked's new campaign imagines an alternative universe where hold music is the new rock and roll, and fans get excited about.
Image supplied. #StopHoldMusic, Naked’s new campaign imagines an alternative universe where hold music is the new rock and roll, and fans get excited about
Image supplied. #StopHoldMusic, Naked’s new campaign imagines an alternative universe where hold music is the new rock and roll, and fans get excited about

Ernest North, co-founder at Naked Insurance explains that they with #StopHoldMusic, they set out to create a fun tongue in cheek campaign that empathises with South African consumers who are frustrated with companies and industries that aren't keeping up with their digital lifestyles.

“Hold music is a fun way to depict our satire because no one likes long phone calls and bland hold music.”

The company found that the average South African consumer spends around 15 hours each month speaking to a call centre for personal admin, which adds up to 31 days over their lifetime.*

They took this insight to an absurd level by imagining an alternative universe where Hold Music is a legitimate musical genre, with its own DJs and radio stations, die-hard fans and even dedicated festivals.

Repetitive and outdated

North emphasises that the campaign embodies so much of what is wrong with old school companies (especially in insurance). No one likes listening to elevator music and “your call is important to us” messages while holding for a call centre agent.

“People of all ages are tired of listening to call centre hold music, but younger generations are especially impatient with call centres - it’s repetitive, outdated and goes on forever.”

In the 80s and 90s, companies were relatively quick to transition from in-person service to call centre, but many industries are struggling to transition to the next wave — the move away from phone calls to self-service via apps and online platforms.

“Consumers increasingly prefer the control and convenience of managing their lives online,” he says. “Yet,” he adds, “It’s impossible for them to avoid phoning a call centre at least once or twice a month, whether that’s to follow up on a tax query, update their details with their bank, or to buy insurance.”

Different executions of the campaign

The campaign has launched, with three videos live on Naked’s social media, boosted and supported via influencers and digitals ads on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok and YouTube.

The three videos are:

  • HOLD FEST - The world’s only music festival where the DJs only play call centre hold music.
  • NOW THAT’S WHAT I CALL HOLD MUSIC - A 200 disc box set of call centre hold music hits.
  • HOLD FM - The only radio station playing call centre hold music all day, every day.

Radio will be rolled out in the next few weeks, promoting online insurance without a single phone call.

The next generation of insurance

The #StopHoldMusic campaign exposes just how bizarre it is to still spend so much time speaking to call centres and being on hold, more than 20 years into the 21st century.

“#StopHoldMusic will resonate with anyone who has held on for an agent for hours while listening to the same song on loop,” says North.

The good news is that efficient digital channels are rapidly becoming the norm.

The campaign serves to increase awareness of Naked’s fully digital insurance platform. “At Naked, we offer a fully digital platform that makes your insurance experience quick, easy and hassle-free. You can claim, get a quote and manage your policy online without ever needing to speak to a call centre agent or being placed on-hold and forced to listen to jazzy instrumentals.”

It highlights how the next generation of insurance is different from the old ones. “For consumers who are tired of speaking to call centre agents and being put on-hold, we offer a convenient fully digital alternative to insure your car, home, or valuable items in less than three minutes,” he explains.

Naked’s own creative in-house team

Fairly unique in today’s world, the insurance company has its own in-house marketing team. This, says North is in keeping with the character of the company.

“We developed our product from the ground up, eliminating phone calls, hidden T&Cs, and lengthy waiting times from the entire experience and lowered premiums.”

Therefore, he explains, it made perfect sense to have their own in-house marketing department.

“It was important to us that the people who are marketing Naked are people that are part of that journey of innovation, with end-to-end comprehension of the customer needs. An entrenched understanding of the scale of Naked’s underlying innovation was necessary to appropriately talk about Naked.”

He adds that for this they got the right creatives on board.


Team Naked:

  • Executive creative director: Shane Durrant
  • Co-founder: Ernest North
  • Design and motion graphics: Marguerite Oosthuizen
  • Marketing and social media: Liezel Swiegers

Production partners:

  • Production company: Dolph Graphic Video
  • Director: Daniel McCauley
  • Senior producer: Jesse Coetsee
  • Junior producer: Tyler Chetty
  • Director of photography: Marty Bleazard
  • Art director: Sandile Mhlongo
  • Art assistant: Sakhile Nkutha
  • Wardrobe: Sophia Lee
  • Make-up and hair: Bassie Seripe
  • Post-production: Dolph Graphic Video
  • Editor: Isabel Rahman
  • Sound studio: Sterling Sound
  • Sound engineer: Lebo Maboa
  • Grade: Jarryd Duthoit / Tyler Chetty

* Naked’s survey of almost 2,000 consumers

About Danette Breitenbach

Danette Breitenbach is a marketing & media editor at Previously she freelanced in the marketing and media sector, including for Bizcommunity. She was editor and publisher of AdVantage, the publication that served the marketing, media and advertising industry in southern Africa. She has worked extensively in print media, mainly B2B. She has a Masters in Financial Journalism from Wits.

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