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Insurers make a splash with high-profile advertising campaigns

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Insurance carriers are having a major TV moment: brand characters like LiMu Emu, Flo, the GEICO gecko, and Jake from StateFarm have been spinning even the mundane ideas into moments of comedic gold. Companies have started to invest record-high dollars into attention-grabbing and humorous marketing campaigns to stay relevant, casual and a part of household discourse. Here are a couple new campaign strategies that carriers have launched this year: 

Allstate

Allstate replaced its spokesperson of almost 20 years, Dennis Haybert, with 15-time Grammy Award winner Alicia Keys in July 2021. According to the carrier, Keys was selected as she “epitomizes warmth, empathy and trustworthy sensibilities that are core to the company and represents the optimistic, forward-thinking and courageous brand” they’re building. Beyond her selling more than 65 million records and 15 Grammy wins, the singer-songwriter also supports several communities; Keys co-founded a non-profit dedicated to helping families affected by HIV/AIDS called Keep a Child Alive and is a leader in the #NoMakeup Movement.

The carrier recently changed ad agencies from Leo Burnett to Droga5 and stopped running its “Mayhem” campaign, which was a character that planted chaotic events such as residential burglaries and car accidents played by Dean Winters. 

Kin Insurance 

Kin Insurance launched a home insurance campaign built around the “Florida Man” meme, popularized by a stream of freakish Florida-datelined news stories featuring male leads. Targeting homeowners in Florida, the campaign is a mockumentary-style video of a series of only-in-Florida mishaps due to the state’s history of unusual events and reports of bizarre activities. In addition to being the state where the company’s principal office is located, Florida is also the lightning capital of the country and leads the nation in the number of hurricanes making landfall. 

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This campaign strays from the classic insurance commercial narrative centered on a fictional character or celebrity, and is the largest marketing campaign in the company’s history. The Kin creative team hopes to cast a more compassionate light on Florida, a state that often finds itself as the punchline.

As carriers create campaigns relevant to their niche audience or align with their company values, it seems to be working:the number of drivers purchasing personal car insurance is on the rise, particularly among Millennials and Gen Z consumers.

In fact, insurance-themed campaigns have been so successful that other companies with no relation to the industry have tested the waters with fake claims forms and policy perks: 

Breyers 

Unilever North America partnered with Breyers Cookies & Cream ice cream to launch Cookie Coverage as a part of the promotion of a new ice cream formula around National Insurance Day. The new formula includes 20% more cookie pieces, and “policyholders” were encouraged to file a claim and seek reimbursement of a replacement tub of ice cream if they weren’t completely satisfied with the cookie-to-cream ratio. 

Budweiser Canada

Budweiser Canada debuted BBQ Insurance so Canadians can enjoy the grilling season all summer long. More of a contest than an actual policy, BBQ Insurance allows Canadians who experience a “loss” due to their barbeque (equipment breakdown, event cancellation, etc) to complete a claims submission online for a chance to win a Budweiser BBQ Insurance package valued up to $2,500.  

With the surging popularity of insurance-related marketing campaigns, it will be interesting to see how these ads and commercials will shift from or maintain brand character loyalty. 

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The Zebra is the nation's leading independent insurance comparison site. The Zebra compares more than 100 insurance companies and provides agent support and educational resources to ensure drivers are equipped to make the most informed decisions about their home and auto insurance.