Liberty Mutual brand
Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share
25 November 2018
Liberty Mutual brand goes vanilla
The cost of clarity is the risk of offense. That’s a mantra we take pretty seriously at Stealing Share. And one the Liberty Mutual brand should consider more strongly.
Case in point. Earlier this year, Liberty Mutual ran an ad with a woman upset her insurance rates increased after an accident left scratches so small you could you could fix them with a pen. She asked something like, “You know what you should do with that pen?” The suggestion being that the insurance company should stick it up its ass.
I’m paraphrasing because the Liberty Mutual brand has taken down the ad all across the internet. Because it somehow deems the ad too offensive.
So, instead, it replaces the spot with a more vanilla version.
“The unsaid implication that insurance companies should stick it up their asses was actually emotional. Now? It’s just another ad in a series that remains emotionally flat.”
Here’s the issue. The Liberty Mutual brand is trying to tap into consumers’ anger over insurance companies. They seem like unfeeling behemoths that automatically reject claims and raise rates. Even over slight scratches you could fix with a pen.
The unsaid implication that insurance companies should stick it up their asses was actually emotional. Now? It’s just another ad in a series that remains emotionally flat.
The Liberty Mutual brand campaign is now emotionally un-compelling
The one with the guy who throws his wallet into the water? You don’t remember what prompts that action. No. You just remember the supposed humor of the guy regretting the toss. Where’s the emotion in this?
In all marketing, including branding, you can’t be for everybody. If you try, you become for nobody because you’re no longer about the special qualities that make the collective you you.
The original Liberty Mutual brand spot appeals to those most fed up with their insurance providers. And, therefore, most likely to switch. Now, it appeals to no one. In fact, it’s now completely forgettable.
To be directly emotional means saying who you are not for. Offended by the pen suggestion? Then you aren’t mad enough with your current provider to switch to the Liberty Mutual brand.
If you are, however, you’re ready to move. Shouldn’t that be the whole point?
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