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Posts Tagged ‘Allstate’

How Big Data Brought Us the GEICO Gecko

Back in October (when this PRNewser writer dressed as Flo for Halloween), we discussed the popularity of brand mascots like Progressive‘s Flo, Allstate‘s Mayhem and the GEICO Gecko — and what it means for a company when a character created solely for the purpose of selling a product becomes something of a pop culture icon.

Relevant research at the time indicated that, while the public’s love for these quirky insurance pushers undoubtedly helped bring some personality to an otherwise drab product, it didn’t necessarily always correlate with sales.

Now, thanks to a revealing interview in AdAge, we’ve learned that there may be a more direct correlation between the Gecko and his company’s sales. The spokes-lizard was never intended to be the longstanding fixture he has become. But, as GEICO CMO Ted Ward explains in the interview, the ever-improving marketing tool known as data analytics made it clear that The Gecko was making an impact:

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Mediabistro Course

Presentation Writing: Design and Delivery

Presentation Writing: Design and DeliveryLearn how to use storytelling techniques and visual content to create and deliver successful pitches and presentations! Starting August 6, Amanda Pacitti, the manager of learning at Time Inc., will teach you the best practices for presentations, from using software like Prezi and Powerpoint, to writing your script, and using images, audio, and video to drive your points. Register now! 

AllState Didn’t Fully Cover Family Featured in Hurricane Sandy Ad

AllState InsuranceAllState insurance just released an ad touting the company’s Hurricane Sandy relief efforts and focusing on the supposed selflessness of its agents. The spot, titled “1,000 Thank You’s”, isn’t particularly subtle in its messaging—it’s called a “tribute to the 1,000 employees who put customers first” during the hurricane even when their own homes had been damaged.

Turns out the story is a little more complicated than that.

The problem? A Staten Island family whose home features prominently in the ad has some major gripes with AllState—and they’re not afraid to voice their issues in public. Customer Dominic Traina says he “got disgusted” after seeing the ad during Thanksgiving dinner because AllState only offered his family $10,000 for the damage depicted in the video after the jump.

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What Do Commercial-Inspired Halloween Costumes Mean for Brands?

As the weekend approaches, you’re likely planning your costume for an upcoming Halloween party (or if you’re like us, you started planning in July). This PRNewser writer went to her first Halloween-themed extravaganza of the season as Flo from the Progressive Insurance ads (picture below).

I initially chose the costume simply because I think Flo is adorable (in a creepy, Stepford Wives sort of way), and because a recent donation to Locks of Love left my hair just short enough to pull it off. But then my costume choice got my PR-oriented brain thinking — superheroes, storybook characters, and familiar faces from TV and movies are always popular costume choices, but what does it mean from a PR and branding standpoint when a character created solely for an ad campaign becomes enough of a pop culture symbol to warrant Halloween costumes?

Insurance companies seem to have the market cornered on popular mascots (probably because insurance is duller than dirt without them). GEICO‘s Gecko, Progressive‘s Flo, and Allstate‘s Mayhem bring personality and humor to an otherwise much-maligned product, and however people might feel about insurance itself, they adore these characters. Case in point: while wandering around a costume shop, I saw a pre-made, pre-bagged “Insurance Lizard” costume hanging between the ever-popular Jack Sparrow and Spiderman.

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Funny Ads: Effective, or Just Good for a Laugh?

If you’re going to sit through commercials while watching TV, ads that make you laugh – or at least smile – help to lessen the annoyance, and may even keep you from changing the channel or fast-forwarding. I mean, who hasn’t cracked a smile at the dancing M&M or Allstate’s personification of “Mayhem”?

But does getting an audience to laugh necessarily get them interested in a product or service?

According to Advertising Age, a study done by Ace Metrix, which used a scoring system based on factors such as watchability, likability, and persuasion, found that while funny ads often get more attention and are better liked by the viewing audience, humor alone does not make an ad effective. In fact, ads that were simply funny were found to be slightly less likely to increase desire or purchase intent than informative, unfunny ones. Read more