It is not a new commercial but Nationwide is running one right now that grabs a brand message and drives it home in a memorable way. Most insurance companies talk about themselves and can’t seem to get past an expected and boring litany of benefits that are supposed to ignite a change in their competitor’s customers. This means, at the end of the day, they all try to compete on price and, therefore, rely on their customers to be blind to fair pricing.
Competing on price is a loser’s game when there does not appear to be any other value to justify a higher price. Everyone then talks about service, 24/7 support and bundling of insurance policies.
Nationwide can claim the higher ground. We will wait and see if this commercial is another one-off in a forgettable din of category-like messages or if it represents a sea change.
What makes the Nationwide baby ad resonate is because it seems to understand that irrational attachment we often have with our automobiles. By making the baby so overwhelmingly huge, we get the analogy and accept the silliness we all feel in thinking about our car as a baby. It allows us to see ourselves honestly and gives us personal permission to place such silly values on a bucket of steel, plastics, leather and vinyl. In short, we are allowed to be irrational without judgment. Smart. Very smart.
We preach to all of our clients how important it is to understand the belief systems of the prospects they wish to influence. We tell them it is important to identify with a belief (precept) that can lead to the self-identification of the target audience. We tell them how important it is to connect with the highest emotional intensity.
The Nationwide baby spot seems to have hit the nail on the head. Will it continue this intelligent marketing? Not sure Nationwide knows that this sort of thinking is catching lightening in a bottle and is much more important than receiving a small check for a perfect driving record. In this commercial at least, Nationwide is on your side. Please try to stay there.