When it comes to car insurance ads, I have to hand it to the advertising people at Geico. I can repeat their catch-phrase from memory (“Fifteen minutes could save you fifteen percent or more on car insurance”). If you show me a talking gecko, a moron made up like a caveman, or a stack of money with googley-eyes, I think of Geico. I think the gecko is kind of cute. I think the cavemen are stupid beyond all belief. And I’m irritated by the creepy, unwavering stare of “the money [I] could be saving with Geico.” It’s like a Sesame Street version of the Eye of Sauron, whose lidless, fiery gaze scoured the face of Middle Earth. The black tower of Barad-dûr was a bit more sinister than Geico’s stack of $5 bills; but, to be fair, Peter Jackson had a bigger budget. I think.
sexy vs. sassy vs. pseudo-celeb
There are, of course, a few other car insurance “mascots” out there. The irritating “Flo” from Progressive outwears her welcome pdq, but at least I associate her with the product she sells. The sexy anime-esque “Erin Esurance” is much more tolerable, but doesn’t really make me think of car insurance at all. In fact, a recent survey of guys ages 18-25 showed Erin’s picture with the question “What do I sell?” Less than 10% of participants responded correctly, “Car Insurance.”
[Ok, I made that survey up. But ask yourself: how would YOU respond?]
Having served proudly as Commander in Chief for the first of Jack Bauer’s really long days, President Palmer now pesters us repeatedly about the quality of the hands we are in. He’s probably a good choice for spokesman, with his calm and composed demeanour. But when I see Pres. Palmer on the screen, I always think about his psycho-bitch wife, Sherry Palmer. I’m pretty sure she would commit insurance fraud in a heartbeat.
insurance law reform
Finally, we arrive at the ridiculous series of facebook ads I’ve encountered recently. Apparently, there’s been some wonderful reform recently in the legal world re: car insurance for 27 year old males.
|This car looks great. I think. I can’t stop staring at this voluptuous woman in the driver’s seat. Since this ad is about car insurance for 27 year old MALES, it seems strange to feature her so prominently. But I am a 27 year old male, and I do like $13/mo car insurance, so I won’t worry about it. Maybe she comes along with the policy.|
|The hottie was nice to look at, but guys are visual. The sophisticated title of the previous ad (“Insurance Laws Passed”) was too complicated for me to really wrap my mind around. Besides, who cares about new laws anyway? Sounds political. Besides that, the exotic photo didn’t really fit into my reality. After all, I’ve never seen a girl like that in the driver’s seat of my car. This ad, however, simplifies things. “AGE 27 AND DRIVING?” “Why yes,” I think, “that’s me.” Besides that, I always pay extra attention to things in ALL CAPS. And there’s no mention of legal matters to cloud things up. Furthermore, I see a familiar sight here: an expensive sports car engulfed in unfortunate flame. Guys like this need a second chance. And $13/mo insurance.|
|This ad continues to capitalise on the strengths of the last one. It’s a different sports car here, and the fire is even more violent–but it looks like help has arrived. The text of the ad is even more appealing to me, because the insurance cost is only $1.21, instead of the astronomical $13. After I’ve torched two Ferraris, I need the cheapest insurance new laws can buy. The difference between $1.21/day and $13/mo is inconsequential to me. It’s all fine print anyway.|
I’m still seeing these ads. I haven’t clicked yet, but I’m sure someday soon I will enter my vehicle information. These guys don’t have boring mascots or silly catch phrases. THEY TALK TO ME ON A LEVEL I CAN UNDERSTAND and show me pictures I can relate to. Why don’t more car insurance companies take the hint from these facebook avertisers? It’s so simple, a 27 year old male caveman could have come up with it.