What Progressive Insurance Is Doing Better Than Everyone Else

Progressive Insurance cuts through in the crowded insurance advertising market and they’re doing it with recall.

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It is difficult to stand out in a market where more than $4 billion is spent on marketing and advertising. That task is made even more difficult when one considers how many different companies there are vying for consumer attention. (The main spenders are: Geico, Allstate, State Farm, Farmers, Liberty Mutual, Progressive and Allstate subsidiary Esurance)

It seems like, no matter the television show, it is guaranteed that American consumers will see (or fast forward/30 second skip past) at least one insurance commercial at every break. Consumers are being inundated with commercials for insurance and what’s worse is that the commercials all seem to be the same. While there is certainly nuance, it feels like every company is trying to make a joke of some sort while speaking about their ability to save the consumer money.

(Pop Quiz: which insurance company has the commercial with one elderly lady “unfriending” another? Not sure? You’re not the only one.)

What value are “savings” and “we’re funny and relevant” as points of differentiation when all your competitors claim the same points of differentiation as their own? When all the commercials seem to be the same – the insurance companies lose their distinction and they all appear to be the same in the eyes of the consumer. This is one of the downsides of competing in a commodity market. With that said – I believe that Progressive is doing an excellent job standing out from the competition.

Is it because they’ve strayed from making jokes while talking about savings? No – as is reflected in the hilarious birds and bees-style commercial below, those are their mainstays.

How then is Progressive winning? Progressive is winning in recall, which is a measure of whether or not consumers can remember the advertiser after seeing the advertisement. Can you tell what’s driving recall for Progressive? It isn’t subtle.

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Progressive’s absolute ownership of blue and white is what is driving recall. And recall is the hottest part of the battle for insurance advertisers.When consumers start the research process for buying a new insurance policy their internal struggle is to remember which company they want to get a quote from – and this seemingly simple process is really difficult when all the insurance companies are the same. But Progressive’s ownership of Blue and White, which are also the colors of their logo, helps consumers to associate a brand with the humor and promise of savings that they’re much more likely to remember.

For crying out loud – their ‘love to hate’ new smug mascot is a blue and white box of Progressive Insurance. Not only will consumers hate him, but they will *never* forget the company he represents – how can they?

When consumers recall the hilarious visual of the mother covering her sons ears and walking away, they also recall blue and white – and those colors drive them to visit Progressive.com. And that consideration is all the insurers really want. Their rates are their rates – sure, there are discounts, but insurance rates are calculated based on proprietary risk calculation formulas that don’t change from driver to driver. You might save money by switching, you might not, but you’ll never know if you don’t visit their site to check. Progressive wants you to check – and their powerful branding draws consumers to check in a way that no other insurance company does – and that’s beautiful. Until next time.

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  • Normal Guy

    I was just talking to someone about that horror film geico commercial. I remembered everything about the commercial except for the product being sold.

    good point about the box. creating a character that people absolutely hate is a great way to drive recall.