There’s “Mayhem” guy for Allstate Insurance and the Geico Gecko, and the “Like a Good Neighbor, State Farm is there,” jingle, the overly enthusiastic Progressive saleslady and the equally perky “Nationwide is on your side” guy. But wait, then there’s also Denis Haysbert for Allstate Insurance, the Rod Serling Geico guy, The Messenger guy from Progressive and Dale Earnhardt Jr. for Nationwide insurance.
Overkill? Some of us think so, but there’s a reason for such an oversaturation of insurance advertising, according to Ricardo de la Blanca, the CEO of global marketing agency DLB Group.
“Warren Buffett is a person that really understands the power of marketing and he was always pushing the company to do more with marketing,” he says of the billionaire owner of Geico insurance. “They moved from the number three slot to the number two slot, with State Farm being number one. When a number three in a competition moves so far and so fast, everybody starts trying to fight for this piece of the market.”
Four years after Mr. Buffett took over at Geico, the Gecko ad campaign was launched in 2000. Two years later, the company has 5 million policy holders. In 2004, Geico launched the Caveman campaign and in 2007, the company had 8 million policy holders. Today, the company boasts over 10 million policy makers. It seems as though competing insurance companies are rushing to catch up with their only multi-spokesman campaigns. But it’s also the nature of the product that that dictates a need for so many different ad campaigns.
“One unique thing about insurance marketing is that there are so many different demographics that can be targeted,” says financial planner and founder of CarInsuranceComparison.com Joel Ohman.
“Anyone age 16 and up that drives a car is usually in the market for at least car insurance. This is one reason why car insurance companies especially have so many different ad campaigns so that they can reach many different demographics and age groups.”
Right from the source
We asked Allstate’s spokesperson Jaclyn Darrohn if the “Mayhem” and “Truth about Insurance” campaigns were a reaction to Geico’s multiple campaigns. This is what she had to say, “The launch of the ‘Mayhem’ and ‘Truth About Insurance’ campaigns were not developed as a reaction to what our competitors are doing rather a strategic shift to reinforce the value message to consumers.”
Darrohn added a few comments about their ad campaign strategy.
“The insurance category is increasingly competitive and Allstate strives to market to current and prospective customers in relevant ways that highlight how and why the “Good Hands” can protect you, your loved ones, your life and your livelihood.”