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Insurance Mascots?
By: Janet Kalandranis
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Mascots and known figures were a strategy of the past. Put a famous face on TV and, voila, instant brand success. Or maybe that was the hope. Either way, many brands have shied away from this strategy and gone full force into creating a brand story without a face attached to it. Unless, of course, that brand happens to be part of the Insurance industry. Apparently, different rules apply there.

When comparing insurance brands, customers are really trying to nail down price and service. For something that is quite personal, the industry has turned to a 1-800 number or an online submit button that provides no personal connection between the brand and the consumer. Enter Flo, Progressive’s answer to creating a personal navigator who helps customers understand the benefits of the brand. She’s annoying (really annoying), yet she provides a connection with consumers so they feel as if calling that number or clicking that submit button is now more personal. Flo is able to provide all the information that an agent ten years ago would have given at that initial client meeting. Progressive saw an opportunity to strengthen its brand and break down consumer hurdles with Flo, and it worked.

When something works, others will follow. Flo enabled the duck at Aflack, the gecko at Geico, and, most recently, Allstate’s “Mayhem” to also become brand successes. All are fun, funny, and enable each brand to talk about insurance without doing just that. These mascots are creating brand personalities for a product that is very tactical and many times very misunderstood. And it seems that if Flo was successful in creating that brand connection, the question is whether more brand mascots are to follow.

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About the Author
Janet Kalandranis is here to give you all the little brand thoughts that run through her head with a little dash of spice. Find her online here.
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