The General Insurance Company

By Tom Dougherty
Screen Shot 2021 02 24 at 10.19.46 AM

The General Insurance Company does the unthinkable

Nearly all marketing and branding efforts fail because brands simply refuse to be honest with themselves. That’s why the brand refresh, as it’s calling it, from The General Insurance Company is so intriguing.

The General hasn’t completely rebranded itself, which we believe is a mistake. However, it’s amazingly honest about its main weakness in a crowded insurance market.

In the newest spots, the insurance brand realizes it always felt cheap and amateurish.


“But The General Insurance Company has taken a brave first step in the right direction. Admitting its failure helps push the brand past its inadequate history.”

Kenny Smith, Shaq’s co-host on TNT’s Inside the NBA, says, “We just misjudged them based on their commercials.”

What company would say that? But that was exactly what was wrong with The General Insurance brand.

The previous ads were terrible. And made audiences think the insurance company was simply a flight-by-night operation not worth your time.


By being so honest with target audiences, The General does something quite refreshing. It plays fair.

The General Insurance Company takes a brave first step

Let’s put it this way. Most brands have a hard time with rebranding – or a brand refresh, if you will – because they hold onto the past like a drunken uncle. They simply won’t be honest with themselves that something isn’t working. That change is needed.

In addition, they rarely admit mistakes. They only will when trapped in a corner. The corner for The General Insurance Company was not making an impact on the market. It’s not even in the top 10 of the largest US auto insurance companies.

But being honest plays well. We all ignore most marketing messages because most are not a reflection of ourselves enough to notice. And also because most smell like a con. We know they aren’t playing honest with us. They’re just marketing.

The General’s honesty doesn’t feel like that.

The General Insurance CompanyWe hoped The General Insurance Company would go all out in its brand refresh.

The General himself, while largely sidelined in the new campaign, doesn’t hold that much brand equity, if any at all. In fact, he’s a reminder of cheap marketing.

And while the website is improved, Shaq looks trapped in a bad Photoshop job. (What’s with his head?) Not to mention the brand could seriously use a new logo.

But The General Insurance Company has taken a brave first step in the right direction. Admitting its failure helps push the brand past its inadequate history.

Now is the time to go one step further.

See more posts in the following related categories: Insurance branding


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