Cannes Lions




1 Silver Cannes Lions
1 Bronze Cannes Lions
1 Shortlisted Cannes Lions
Case Film
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Presentation Image






This was about proof, not promises, so we decided to launch a series of initiatives that would each use High Performance thinking to redefine a problem.

For the first, Fleetlights, we took on one of the most fundamental problems out there – darkness. Darkness causes fear, criminality, and thousands of road deaths in the UK every year.

Fleetlights is the solution. Rather than lighting every inch of every road, the Fleetlights service dispatches a swarm of drones to lead the user where they want to go, lighting the way ahead. All controlled by the user’s smartphone.

The service is designed with mainland travel in mind, but we have released the tech over the GitHub code community, so it can be adapted to other situations where light is vital, making Direct Line’s High Performance promise relevant to many more industries than traditional insurance.


Hosted in a rural location – one of the darkest places in the UK - with no public street lighting of any kind, visitors arrived at a drop-off point, in complete darkness. They were then greeted by a technician and instructed on how to use a smartphone pre-loaded with the ‘Fleetlights app’. Attendees got to summon a single Fleetlight drone in real-time, to illuminate their short, but dark walk to the main venue.

Several live demonstrations then took place:

A ‘group walk’ showcased our newly-developed ‘Rover’ technology, which allows a formation of ‘Fleetlight’ drones to dynamically respond to a subject on the ground.

A ‘road’ demonstration then showcased the service’s ability to light the road ahead of a moving car, responding to its changes in speed.

The evening was concluded with an in-depth discussion by our panel of world-leading engineers who developed the ‘Fleetlights’ technology.


We’d planned for 3.2 million completed views, but the strength of the media and creative gave us 5.6. Those who saw it experienced the right brand effects - we saw uplifts of Direct Line as a modern and innovative brand.

The idea had the coverage effect we’d hoped for - Fleetlights sparked the imaginations of tech and lifestyle influencers, leading to 1.2bn blog impressions, coverage in national newspapers including The Times and Evening Standard, and an unpaid segment on a national talk show. And because we did Fleetlights properly, the tech is being built upon by drone enthusiasts, filmmakers and even emergency services.

Best of all, Fleetlights is now Direct Line’s guiding light: their product teams are giving us more inspiring insurance ideas than ever before, every part of the business is talking about how it can become more High Performance - and the next innovation project is underway…

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