We all know the frustrating feeling of going to watch a YouTube video, only to click on it and find an ad. No one really likes ads, but there is one kind of ad that makes me more mad than anything, and that is insurance commercials. I understand the irony of me saying insurance commercials are bad when the point of commercials is to get people to talk about your product, but insurance commercials are so bad, and have been that way for so long, I must talk address them.
The main reason insurance commercials suck is that they are all the same. They all try to use comedy to make insurance seem a lot more exciting than it is, and it worked at first. I remember being a kid and thinking these commercials were funny and good, but as I got older, I realized how formulaic they were, and how they are all kind of the same. None of the commercials really stand out, which isn’t good from a marketing stance. You want to be able to stand out, so when people are researching insurance brands they’ll remember you, but when all the commercials are in the same comedic style, it won’t do that.
A big part of these commercials is the mascot for the given brand. The one thing I will give props to is how these companies have created an image for their insurance. For Progressive it’s Flo, for Geico it’s the gecko, and for Liberty Mutual it’s the buddy cop duo with the emu. They have done a good job with branding these, but these characters are insufferable, and unfunny.
They also frequently overuse these characters so they just kind of get stale and old. Progressive brought in the character of Flo in 2008, and she has been a consistent mascot and in most of the commercials for 13 years. Even in her case, there is only so much you can do with a character like that. Flo can still be the mascot of Progressive, but they need to start doing some more commercials and marketing campaigns that are different from the ones they’ve done over the past 13 years.
Another personal reason why I don’t like these commercials is how unfunny they are. I know that comedy is subjective, but I really don’t see most of Gen Z finding these funny. This is another issue, because when you are selling your product with comedy, and people don’t find it funny, it’s really hard to sell your product.
The final thing I want to talk about is how hard it is to market to Gen Z. Gen Z grew up constantly being surrounded by ads on the internet. I can really only speak from experience, but I feel like I am kind of numb to ads at this point, and in commercials if you don’t truthfully tell me why I should buy your product, there really isn’t a reason for me to do so. I’m not going to buy insurance because a gecko told me to.
I don’t really know how insurance companies can fix their commercials, but I do know they need to change. I don’t really know how much further the comedy can go for these companies. It just feels stale and overused.
Mark Warren can be reached at [email protected]