NRMA Insurance was “tanking” before IAG CMO Brent Smart returned from New York and appointed Accenture’s The Monkeys, without a pitch, in an early Australian textbook execution of Les Binet and Peter Field’s work around the business impact of investing long-term in brand. Smart went further but was unwavering from the get-go – as were The Monkeys - about returning to “HELP" in late 2017, according to a redacted entry submission to the Effies seen by Mi3. A series of brand-led campaigns, spearheaded by The Monkeys, took out the Advertising Council’s Grand Effie Award last month for returning the ailing insurance company to category-leading growth. But just how bad were things at NRMA Insurance, and how and why did they return to a 20-year-old idea? Smart and The Monkeys’ CEO Mark Green and Chief Strategy Officer Fabio Buresti get brutally honest.