It almost reaffirms your belief that people are paying attention when you read that four of the top five insurance ads rated on believability and “impact” are from Allstate.
The study, from Phoenix Marketing International, shows us an interesting trend: the top scores all go to Allstate’s very real, very credible “Our Stand” spots with the next several going to State Farm (True Story: Living Room Crash) and Liberty Mutual (Pay It Forward) — all real life executions avoiding slapstick.
We don’t see the British Lizard until number 17 on the list. We don’t see Cavemen at all.
The choice of actor Dennis Haysbert as the spokesperson is credible. The subject matter makes sense. It’s not about being the cheapest, or the funniest, or the fastest, or the most transparent. It’s about being the best under the worst circumstances. It’s about deep experience that goes beyond the acquisition period — when we collect your money — and speaks directly to when you need what we do. When you’re in the accident, or in court, or the victim of the con.
In my quantitative research, Allstate’s “Our Stand” campaign scored highly (note that the sample size of “one” has some degree of sampling error and may be biased).
Now, what stops us from taking this study at face value? Per Phoenix, their methodology is, “… a single metric, based on a category-specific model, that measures an ad’s creative potential and allows category advertisers to compare their performance against the competition.” This doesn’t mean it sells more insurance, to be clear. It even sounds a bit fluffy, to be honest. It certainly doesn’t tell us how this metric is derived. I don’t know if it was ten people in a room watching it together or three hundred watching it separately on a clutter reel. Hopefully, it was closer to the latter.
Further, I don’t come from the insurance world, so I can’t speak with the certainty of my own preconceptions and biased data to either support or refute whether these ads are helping or hurting, or whether Lizards and Cavemen out-pull reality.
But I get the feeling that once you’ve been exposed to the reality of this industry’s world — once you’ve had to use them — Allstate wants to be the one you end up with.
Could it be that Allstate doesn’t want to be a “beginner’s insurance company“?
Allstate was my first insurance company here in the US and they put me on a special category that took me years to get past. I had higher premium and somehow was not getting the benefit of good driving, etc.
I switched as soon as I could. How’s personal experience for authenticity?
Ah, the gulf between the ad copy and the real thing.
Regardless of how good your advertising, your packaging, your account penetration, etc., ad nauseum, dogs still need to like your dog food, don’t they?
(Are you sure it wasn’t just your Ferrari-esque driving record?)
I drive a Camry 😉 Not exactly known for wild road handling. And it’s an automatic to boot.
I’m looking more closely at the driver than the ride. However, your secret will be safe with me (and our readers, sitting in the dark beyond the footlights).
However, I like this idea of brands that want to win the second battle — ones that rely on your having a bad experience with whoever grabs your attention first and then looks for something better with less glitz (or fewer Cavemen, in this case). My Sam Adams post a while back hit this point with “Not a Beginner’s Beer.” This feels like it comes from the same place. It’s a great position for a brand to take. Any other examples we can think of?
(note that the sample size of “one” has some degree of sampling error and may be biased).
I laughed out loud at this.
It’s funny that you picked this subject. On my way in to work this morning, I was trying to figure out in my head what it is about the caveman ads that make them memorable. Yes, it’s shtick, but they seem to hit just the right note.
Valeria – Camry’s are good cars… You have nothing to be ashamed of there. 🙂
Cam: yes, the Cavemen stick — existential meltdowns notwithstanding. It’s hard not to feel for the neurotic Neanderthals.
Some press pick-ups suggest that Buffett (the primary shareholder) is funding them heavily because of solid causal relationships between the ad spending and their top line results (I think Paul B over at the Fix did a piece on this a few months back), yet i recall that other more recent pick ups suggested that the jury was out on whether these ads — all of them, from the Cavemen to the Lizard to the Movie Announcer Guy — were bringing in any real business. I don’t know. We’ll have to wait for some *facts* to interrupt our flow of unsupported opinions.
And Toyotas? When I worked at GM, they used to hold these meetings (the “million manager march”) where Rick W would get up and talk about how great things were. I recall a chart showing defects per auto shipped and the GM brass being very self-satisfied that they were way ahead of Chrysler and neck and neck (but still behind) Ford. I don’t recall the actual metrics, but it was around 130 to 140 defects per thousand cards or something. Chrysler was around 180. I asked what Toyota was. Bad move on my part, apparently. Very embarrassing. They were about a 2. But thankfully, as I recall, we at GM didn’t really compare ourselves to Toyota, because they were “different.” Thank goodness. Otherwise, Toyota would be really eating GM’s lunch. That was over 10 years ago now. I wonder what ever happened between those two competitors, anyway?