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As seen on TV: Insurance purchase takes 15 minutes or less!

Lori Bahnmueller's picture

Property and casualty insurance is complicated, serious and pricey. It’s also intangible. Policies don’t instantly make life easier, prettier or more comfortable. But insurance is critical for anyone who owns a car, home, business or anything of significant market value. Without it, you risk losing everything to chance.

Then how did a gecko get the job of marketing one of the nation’s largest insurance companies? And a toothy, apron-clad, retro-perkster become the public face of another?

Because insurance is complicated, serious and pricey. And it’s highly competitive.

To create consumer preference, or at the very least, consideration, insurance carriers have adopted unique and unconventional brand personalities. Here a pig, there a duck everywhere a cave man.

And to make it easier for consumers to shop and compare—particularly with the increasing popularity of Internet commerce—insurance has become commoditized, stuffed in boxes and marked down 15 percent. I’ll take the one with a single-family dwelling, no pool, two sedans and a crossover, plus one recreational boat and a teenage driver, please.

Except it’s not that simple. Insurance policies are as unique as the families they cover. It’s a high-involvement purchase decision that takes more than a price gun and the time investment of a coffee break. It requires a conversation. And more often, several conversations.

This little lady went to market, armed with research

In a recent Brogan Talks to Women survey, 72 percent of respondents said they consulted with a family member or friend before making an insurance policy decision. Of the 127 people who responded to the informal survey, 34 percent had consulted with an insurance agent, 17 percent sought the recommendation of an association or club and 16 percent researched industry ratings.

Price was selected most among important factors influencing purchase (73 percent), with “trusted brand” ranked as second most important (55 percent), followed by “fast, fair claims service” (28 percent), “consistent, stable premium history,” (28 percent) and “my agent’s advice” (25 percent). In fact, 68 percent of those surveyed still work directly with an insurance agent.

The majority of those surveyed—72 percent—have remained loyal to their carrier for at least the last three years, and 47 percent have not switched carriers in more than six years. That jibes with a 2011 Deloitte Research survey of auto and homeowner insurance policyholders.

The online survey of 1,080 policyholders found nearly a quarter said they never shop for alternatives to auto insurance, and 27 percent said they never shop for a new homeowners policy at renewal. The Insurance Information Institute says only about one in 10 drivers actually switch policies annually, a level that's been consistent for a decade—even with the big ad push over the last decade plus.

Such loyalty is notable considering more than $6 billion was spent on advertising for automotive insurance alone in 2012 (Wall Street Journal). Geico, Progressive, State Farm and Allstate now rank among the nation’s 20-most advertised brands, outspending popular consumer-product giants such as Budweiser, Coca-Cola and Home Depot, according to USA Today.

There’s nothing like a pig flying along a zipline to jazz up an insurance pitch, especially when sweetened with a honey-glazed discount. It’s funny. It’s share-worthy. But it doesn’t send me to the market to come all the way home with a new policy. What about you?

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The weekly recap - April 14, 2014.

Ellyn Davidson's picture

Social media is constantly evolving, with vigilant bloggers following every new app, rule and Facebook flicker. We sift through hundreds of blogs weekly to keep on top of developments and seek out new client opportunities. It’s our job. And we like to share. So, don’t fret about what you might be missing. We’ve got your Cliffs Notes.

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Keeping Your Company/Product a Secret Could be the Secret to Creating a Viral Video

Ellyn Davidson's picture

Everybody in advertising has heard this one: “Can you make a video about our product? And by the way, we want it to go viral!” Alas, the surest way to fail at making a viral video is to try to make a viral video.

That said, I have seen a trend in some recent blockbuster vids that’s worth noting: the spots all give their products the softest of sells. In fact, the name of the company is usually not mentioned until the video’s last seconds. You could call it a surprise ending.  

For a brilliant example of this approach, check out World’s Toughest Job, which immediately went viral upon its release on Monday.

In the four-minute video, a diverse group of gobsmacked job applicants interview for an “insane, unpaid, 24/7 job. The punchline? This is a job that billions of women do every day.

The job is being a mom.

After the applicants (and the viewers) dissolve into tears, we see a caption: “This Mother’s Day, you might want to make her a card.”

Only then, over quietly touching piano plinks, comes the sell: “Visit www.cardstore.com.”  

P&G employed the same subtlety in its 2012 Thank You Mom and 2014 Pick Them Back UP Olympic spots. Those tearjerkers briefly featured moms at work in their laundry rooms and babies toddling around in diapers, but not until the very end of the videos did you learn who was behind them.

And when that P&G logo did appear? It was next to a humble expression of gratitude: “Thank you, Mom.”

P&G’s 2012 spot won an Emmy. It was also a boon to the companys bottom line, according to an Ogilvy case study. It was the strongest Olympic sponsor ad measured and its performance was 40 percent stronger than P&G’s ads during the Vancouver Olympics.

It’s too early to gauge the impact that World’s Toughest Job will have on its company—American Greetings. But it’s impossible to imagine, after more than seven million views, that Cardstore.com won’t see an uptick in sales.

This kind of spot makes a big impression on those of us in advertising and marketing as well. It shows us one truth about videos: The ones that sell to a viral degree are the ones that don’t sell. This was also famously illustrated a few weeks ago with First Kiss. That video’s product—Wren clothing—was so subtly presented that at first, none of the entranced viewers even recognized that it was an ad.

I love this notion of selling a product or company by focusing on characters; on story. In the spot, that company may look like an afterthought. But for consumers, sensitive storytelling and humility are likely to make a more profound impact than a hard sell.

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The weekly recap - April 7, 2014.

Ellyn Davidson's picture

Social media is constantly evolving, with vigilant bloggers following every new app, rule and Facebook flicker. We sift through hundreds of blogs weekly to keep on top of developments and seek out new client opportunities. It’s our job. And we like to share. So, don’t fret about what you might be missing. We’ve got your Cliffs Notes.

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Makeup that promotes inner beauty. Sounds conflicting, doesn't it?

Maila Kue's picture

By now, you’re probably familiar with The Dove Campaign for Real Beauty, one of the leading campaigns in marketing to women. This campaign was initiated as a way of widening the definition of beauty. It encourages women to embrace their natural selves.

With this powerful message in mind, it makes us wonder how other companies are responding to this movement of redefining beauty. Cosmetic brands and makeup companies are in business because they provide an avenue for women to cover up the dark circles under their eyes, to prevent future wrinkles, and to enhance and highlight certain features while hiding other ones. So how can they effectively market to the same group of women, when their products seem to do to the exact opposite of embracing natural beauty? It sounds conflicting, doesn’t it?

Dermablend, a cosmetic brand, makes it possible. You may recall Dermablend from its well-known adGo Beyond the Cover,” which went viral in 2011 starring Rick Genest, or better known as Zombie Boy. The video displayed Dermablend’s makeup products and its ability to cover up just about anything, even a full-body tattoo.

Dermablend has recently released a new campaign. Same product, different approach. It promotes the same message of inner beauty that moved so many women – but twists it in a way that suggests cosmetics to be a tool to empower women. Using emotional testimonials, Dermablend introduces a new perspective on makeup: “Blend in to stand out.” It suggests that makeup covers imperfections so that women can reveal who they are inside. This claim challenges the message we so often hear from beauty campaigns such as Dove – that true beauty exists when we reveal our natural selves. Cassandra Bankson, a Youtube star who battles with severe acne, states in her Dermablend testimonial, “I used to use makeup to cover up and hide who I was. Now I use it to express myself and show the world who I truly am.”

Dermablend makes a strong emotional connection to women and gets at the heart of their desire to be accepted, understood, and loved – despite their imperfections. The ad provokes all kinds of emotions as we watch the two women tear up and share about their struggle with being judged and bullied for their skin conditions. As Adweek puts it, the sincerity of this ad challenges society’s association of makeup and vanity. It redefines makeup to be a tool for women to experience the freedom of shame in order to find confidence in who they really are.

Do you agree with Dermablend’s outlook? Take a look at their moving Camo Confession campaign and listen to women reveal their story about how makeup has allowed them to ‘blend in to stand out.’ Here’s to marketing to women – with a twist. 

 

 

 

 

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The weekly recap - March 31, 2014.

Ellyn Davidson's picture

Social media is constantly evolving, with vigilant bloggers following every new app, rule and Facebook flicker. We sift through hundreds of blogs weekly to keep on top of developments and seek out new client opportunities. It’s our job. And we like to share. So, don’t fret about what you might be missing. We’ve got your Cliffs Notes.

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Taco Bell enters the breakfast ring by calling on influencers.

Christina Tebbe's picture

Look out McDonald’s and Burger King, pioneers of “fourth meal” are moving in on the first one. Taco Bell rolled out their breakfast menu on March 27, and it’s causing quite a buzz.

According to market researcher Technomic, McDonald’s has about a quarter of the fast food industry’s breakfast sales. Knowing it wouldn’t be easy to compete with those numbers, Taco Bell used none other than Ronald McDonald to get the public’s attention. Well, not THE Ronald McDonald, but they did find 400 men and women with the name Ronald McDonald—or some variation—who claimed to love the new breakfast meals in their most recent television spot and viral videos. In an effort to beat their newest competitor, McDonald’s announced they will offer a free small coffee to customers for two weeks starting March 31, according to the LA Times.  

So how else did Taco Bell get the word out about their first meal options? With the idea of getting up close and personal with fans of the food chain, they came up with feature phones. According to Mashable, Taco Bell mailed out 1,000 Samsung phones to super fans and social influencers. Recipients of these phones were unaware of the task until it came in the mail, and to the delight of Taco Bell, hopped onto their social media pages and started the conversation. The recipients were then given random challenges to complete at any time of day with the hopes of winning Taco Bell prizes (some of the prizes included a button-down waffle taco shirt or Crunchwrap Supreme bed sheets).

So did it work? Well take a look at Twitter and Instagram. The buzz is still rolling even after the feature phone clues ended Wednesday night. Popular hashtags #WakeUpLiveMas, and #BreakfastPhone are still going strong, even after the breakfast debut. Taco Bell has over 1.1 million followers on Twitter, and the recent television spot with the Ronald McDonald testimonials has almost 700,000 views on the YouTube channel. 

 So is Taco Bell’s breakfast menu here to stay? Is it as delicious as the Ronald McDonalds say it is? Well you’re just going to have to wait in line at one of the 6,000 stores in America—now open at 7 a.m.—to find out.

 

 

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The weekly recap - March 24, 2014.

Ellyn Davidson's picture

Social media is constantly evolving, with vigilant bloggers following every new app, rule and Facebook flicker. We sift through hundreds of blogs weekly to keep on top of developments and seek out new client opportunities. It’s our job. And we like to share. So, don’t fret about what you might be missing. We’ve got your Cliffs Notes.

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The weekly recap - March 17, 2014.

Ellyn Davidson's picture

Social media is constantly evolving, with vigilant bloggers following every new app, rule and Facebook flicker. We sift through hundreds of blogs weekly to keep on top of developments and seek out new client opportunities. It’s our job. And we like to share. So, don’t fret about what you might be missing. We’ve got your Cliffs Notes.

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The weekly recap - March 10, 2014.

Ellyn Davidson's picture

Social media is constantly evolving, with vigilant bloggers following every new app, rule and Facebook flicker. We sift through hundreds of blogs weekly to keep on top of developments and seek out new client opportunities. It’s our job. And we like to share. So, don’t fret about what you might be missing. We’ve got your Cliffs Notes.

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Marketing to Women Insight #2 - Health plans need to make it less confusing.

Paul Nowinski's picture

Our second Brogan talks to women survey went out last month and we asked our female respondents about the health insurance marketplace.  With the deadline to sign up for health insurance being March 31st 2014, there is a sense of urgency to make sure that everyone is covered by some form of health insurance. However, one of the most common barriers to choosing a plan happens to be the confusion surrounding the process of selecting a plan. Our survey found on a scale of 1-5 (1 being least knowledgeable and 5 being the most knowledgeable) that 47.1% of our respondents rated themselves as a 2 on being knowledgeable about how to select and navigate health insurance options.

Survey Population Data

Now, this issue does not just exist in our survey population. Rather, this is an incredibly common theme and a true barrier to getting individuals to sign up for health care.

Interestingly enough, consumers have reason to be confused.  According to the Washington Post, since the inception of the law in April 2010 there have been roughly two dozen changes to the Affordable Care Act. Some of these changes are minor, while others extended deadlines for employer groups and private individuals. All of these changes have just complicated the issue more.

Bottomline, what can be done to help consumers?

Well, there have been attempts to simplify the process by streamlining the healthcare.gov website, but that may not be enough. Consumers need to have an advocate and a resource to understand the cost/benefit to each plan. Perhaps health insurance companies can offer free assistance without the pressure to buy their plan or independent agents should step up to provide 3rd party consulting.

The insurance landscape is a complex one to say the least. But, when it comes to health, consumers do need help. And without that help, they will remain in a certain limbo of balancing costs and benefits to each plan without knowing if they are getting the best bang for their buck.

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Velveeta's skillet mom gets women in a way the Enjoli Woman never could.

Lori Bahnmueller's picture

Remember the Enjoli Woman?

She was the every-woman of the 80s. She could bring home the bacon, fry it up a pan, and never let you forget you’re a man. She could work ‘til 5 o’clock, come home and read the kids tickity-tock.

 

Career woman. Hot wife. Caring mom. She cooked too, all while wearing a smart business suit and heels. That is, except for those times when she was slinking around in a silky dress giving her man the shivering fits.

The Enjoli Woman was a response to a new breed of wives and moms: Women who worked outside the home, but were still expected to manage the home and family as well.  Enjoli was the magic elixir that held her together. 1. Spray liberally. 2. Conquer the world.

Marketing to women? Hardly.

My career mom of five harrumphed indignantly, shaking an imaginary skillet at the TV (and my dad) every time the commercial dared interrupt her 60 minutes of relaxation.

It was a rough time for brands that marketed to women. The female consumer was gaining economic strength, and becoming all the more elusive. In fact, Brogan & Partners was founded around this time and worked with dealerships to connect with the new female breed of car buyers.

Marketing to women remains as challenging as it is lucrative today.Market estimates about their total purchasing prowess varies, ranging anywhere from $5 trillion to $15 trillion annually.Fortunately more brands have discovered how to connect more effectively with her.

Have you seen the new Velveeta skillets campaign?

Now, here’s an every-woman we can relate to.  She doesn’t waste time dancing around the kitchen with a cast iron skillet, a la Enjoli Woman. She puts it to use until she finds its true utility, making her life easier. Not prettier. Not sexier. Not more glamorous. But more manageable.

Marketing to women? Velveeta’s campaign is liquid gold.

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