Make It Memorable Marketing: Betsy’s Picks

This is the second article in our Make It Memorable Marketing series in which Mischa staffers share their favorite marketing campaigns, and how they can be applied to your business. Be sure to Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn to get updates on all the articles, as well as innovative marketing tips for small and mid-size businesses.

There’s nothing intrinsically funny about insurance. Car insurance, life insurance, health insurance — not a laugh in the bunch, really. The fact is that when you make an insurance claim, you’re probably not in a happy place.

But that hasn’t stopped a handful of nationally known insurance companies from creating enormously effective marketing campaigns that not only make viewers laugh out loud, but create name recognition and — ultimately — new business.

The names of three insurance companies in particular come up again and again when television viewers are asked to name their favorite commercials:

* Geico, which has scored points with a series of campaigns involving everything from small lizards to sophisticated pigs to the Pillsbury Doughboy and Paul Revere.

* Progressive, and its ubiquitous and gregarious insurance saleswoman, Flo.

* Allstate, with its Mayhem character, who embodies everything that can go wrong with your home, car, or life. (Coincidentally, Allstate is one of Christina’s picks, too!)

“This (insurance) category has gone from a kind of forgotten category to a category with real sizzle,” Jeff Charney, chief marketing officer for Progressive, told Advertising Age in February 2011. Charney noted that Flo, who debuted in 2008, has lured almost 2.5 million fans to the company’s Facebook page.

Advertising Age spoke to marketers and ad agency executives representing 10 leading insurers. The main takeaway: None of them plans to cut back on spending any time soon, and they believe that the way to stand out is to spend even more.

The magazine theorized that there’s one important market dynamic behind the insurance advertising explosion: a shift from traditional insurance agents to do-it-yourself rate shopping that taught millennials, the 76 million people born between 1977 and 1992, to seek insurance quotes online. Almost half of those millennials turn to the web first, compared with 28 percent of baby boomers, according to a 2010 insurance shopping study.

The goal, according to experts, is to grab the attention of consumers who would rather not think about insurance. Most people think about insurance only when they have an accident, buy a new car, move, or renew existing policies. There are about 187 million insured privately owned vehicles on the road today; turnover is low, with 11 percent switching policies each year. But that still means that more than 20 million people are in the market each year, and thousands of customers are shopping every day.

So, what’s the lesson to be learned for your small business’ marketing efforts? Think outside the box. Look at your product or service differently, and try marketing it in a way nobody else has thought of before. Software companies, think beyond your tech identity. Ecommerce businesses, don’t confine yourselves to the same old boring online marketing initiatives.

Stuck for ideas? Ask us! We’ll take the time to understand your brand, market, competitors, and clients – and craft a marketing initiative or campaign that’s memorable and profitable. Our methods can be unconventional. (Umm, hello, we let a chameleon represent our company and clients!) But we know that sometimes being zany and outlandish is just the ticket to a successful marketing campaign!

Learn how Mischa Communications can help you create affordable marketing campaigns that leave a lasting impression. Give us a call at 202-596-7804 or drop us a line at