Life and health insurers have long used traditional ad media to sell their message to the public, but rarely has it been lauded by the ad industry itself as being particularly innovative or imagination-capturing. Insurance ads usually are not the subject of post-Superbowl talk, or stirring any kind of national shared experience (unlike the Thai mini-dramas I am so fond of referring you back to). But all that may finally be starting to chage as some recent campaigns have earned plaudits for making a statement that sticks.
The first is the “Responsibility: Doing the Right Thing” campaign by Liberty Mutual. The campaign was designed by Hill Holliday and drives home the message that just as everyday people ought to do the right thing when faced with an ethical decision to make, so too must insurers. The effort is co-branded with its Responsibility Project, and it offers some pretty good food for thought to general viewers. But more importantly, it provides folks with a reason to engage content that on one level has nothing to do with insurance, and on another level has everything to do with insurance, and all the while, somewhere, somehow, Liberty Mutual is the name that sticks in peoples’ heads.
Anecdotally, these ads work; when I see one come on TV, I often ask any guests in the house what they think, and perhaps the most important reaction is that they talk about the content of the ad. They typically don’t remark about what they thought the insurer was trying to get out of it by putting forth a positive message. To break through default cynicism is a rare feat for anybody in today’s culture, but doubly so for an insurance company, which is probably why the Responsibility campaign won the EthicMark award last night at the 22nd Annual SRI in the Rockies Conference. The award is sponsored by Ethical Markets, LLC, the University of Notre Dame Mendoza College of Business and the World Business Academy. It highlights investors and investment professionals who work with money in more positive, healthy, transformative ways. It’s well deserved, and I hope to see more of this campaign well into the future. It’s a nice tonic for annoying lizards with indeterminate accents, at any rate.
Meanwhile, Ace Metrix, which measures television advertising effectiveness, announced today its quarterly top 10 national TV ads for 3Q 2011. Not surprisingly, the top ads this quarter were 9/11 tribute ads. I saw both of the top performers during the same football game on September 11, which, for those of you reading this from another planet, was the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks that destroyed the World Trade Center and part of the Pentagon.