CSAA Insurance Group and Rick Astley partner on surprise ad campaign

CSAA Insurance Group has partnered with 1980s British legend Rick Astley to launch a new brand campaign across 17 U.S. markets. For the first time in 35 years, Astley and the top-rated AAA Insurance provider have released a new version of his beloved music video for his 1987 chart-topping hit “Never Gonna Give You Up.” The new video pays tribute to the original while spreading the good news about InsurAAAnce — the insurance that never gives you up!

“Rickified” QR codes
This week, “Rickified” QR codes are going up across the country, primed to unleash a familiar Rick Astley experience: the “Rickroll.” Anybody in one of the target markets can scan the codes to experience the brand-new music video themselves. The “Rickroll” is one of the original internet memes that delighted internet users as a lighthearted prank. When receiving a disguised hyperlink, unassuming readers would click on it, expecting an unrelated topic, and instead get redirected to the “Never Gonna Give You Up” music video. As a testament to the joy that the meme has spread over the past 15 years, “Never Gonna Give You Up” has garnered over 1.2 billion views on YouTube and nearly 600 million streams on Spotify.

“Paying homage to my video for the AAA Insurance commercial — from the set to the wardrobe — has been an amazing trip down memory lane. The song has been so good to me, and I’m thrilled to be working with another iconic brand that has certainly stood the test of time.” – Rick Astley.

“We are thrilled to partner with Rick Astley to not only revisit the joy of his video, but amplify the incredible value that our customers receive with InsurAAAnce. And clearly, the indelible lyrics of ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’ are one of the best ways we can share that message.” – Linda Goldstein, executive vice president, Customer Experience & Marketing, CSAA Insurance Group.

The campaign, a concept of Deloitte Digital, was brought to life in part through a commercial directed by Joseph Kahn, winner of multiple Grammys, MTV VMAs, Clios, and Emmys. Deloitte Digital’s wealth of expertise in the insurance industry, as well as its deep capabilities in creative, data and technology, allow it to take a creative approach to advertising and activate new brand platforms across all customer touchpoints.

“An iconic and beloved brand meets an iconic and beloved artist. ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’ is exactly the promise InsurAAAnce makes to its customers: Legendary dependability that won’t let you down or desert you. We wanted to communicate that in a memorable way not only by recreating the legendary music video after 35 years (featuring Rick himself!), but also serving it in a manner that pays homage to how internet and meme culture has made Rick Astley its own.” – Jones Krahl and Milton Correa, co-heads of Creative for Brand and Advertising at Deloitte Digital.