Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share
13 January 2020
Farmers Insurance commercial actually tells you who the ad promotes
I don’t know how many times I’ve said it, or how often it’s been ignored. But a Farmers Insurance commercial introducing its longtime equity marker – its five-second jingle – early in the spot represents a smart strategy that’s more profound than it should be.
I’ve long lamented that one of the reasons why so many commercials are ignored is because they’re simply entertainment. Often, with viewers failing to remember who the ad is for.
That’s because, unlike the below Farmers Insurance commercial, most spots are a skit ending with the brand’s logo. And because so many ads within a particular category sound, feel and say the same, they’re easy to ignore. Especially when you have no recollection of who the ad is actually promoting.
Not so with the newest Farmers Insurance commercial.
“Now, we could talk about whether the meaning of the Farmers Insurance commercial – experience – carries any great weight with consumers. (Narrator: ‘It doesn’t.’) But at least it understands the power of an equity marker and how to use it.”
That little piece of barber shop singing is Farmers’ greatest equity marker. Once you hear it, you know instantly what you’re in for – “We know a thing or two because we’ve seen a thing or two.” And you’re more likely to pay attention because the jingle gives the spot clarity. Instead of confusion.
Farmers Insurance commercial provides clarity, not hurdles
What the Farmers Insurance commercial understands is that consumers are met with literally thousands of messages per day. (Yes, thousands. Think of all the store fronts you drive by each day. Hell, even the logo on a pen is a message.) We instinctively tune out the ones that are meaningless to us. And any hurdle, like wondering who the hell this ad is for, is a barrier to paying attention.
Marketers will tell you that the story of the ads aims to pull you in, and the mystery of the ad’s sponsor is key to consumers paying attention. That’s just utter bullshit.
And I’m amazed Farmers came to this conclusion after working with YouTube to better understand consumer engagement. The group didn’t need to do that. It’s just plain, common sense.
Now, we could talk about whether the meaning of the Farmers Insurance commercial – experience – carries any great weight with consumers. (Narrator: “It doesn’t.”) But at least it understands the power of an equity marker and how to use it.
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