Shuman Roy is an entrepreneur, business owner, and musician. He started RoysNoys, LLC in 2013 as a music production and education service company. He also offers small business consulting and advisory services to help businesses get from start-up mode to turn-key operations. Shuman earned his M.B.A from the Stern School of Business in 2001 and has an undergraduate degree from Manhattan College in ...

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Written by Shuman Roy
Content Writer & Entrepreneur Shuman Roy

Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity-backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida. Joel...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder, CFP® Joel Ohman

UPDATED: Jun 28, 2022

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If you own a television, you’re probably well aware that the bulk of commercials plastered in front of your eyeballs have something to do with insurance, namely car insurance. And you know that there is power in having familiar characters in branding.

This has to do with the fact that we’re in a soft insurance market, meaning insurance companies are raking in profits and feel comfortable writing more insurance. And they want a wider range of people to be comfortable with their ever changing policy service options. That’s why more and more providers are jumping on the mascot wagon.

It’s also why insurance companies are able to save drivers so much if they switch, because insurance premiums are low at the moment (15 minutes could save you 15%, Progressive Name Your Price).

All that said, some insurance companies are faring better than others in the ad world, despite the overall frequency of their policies and advertising campaigns.

A recent Lightspeed Research study carried out for Advertising Age found that Progressive’s Flo and the GEICO Gecko were the most recognized insurance mascots, with nearly all respondents able to match the characters with their associated companies.

The GEICO Gecko actually took top honors, followed by Flo at a 92% clip – Allstate’s Mayhem was the third most recognizable mascot, though just more than half knew it was an Allstate commercial.

And of the eleven insurance companies included, only four (Allstate, GEICO, Progressive, and State Farm) were recognized by at least half of the respondents, which makes you wonder if the ads are merely entertaining folks. Character exposure requires a lot more work than people probably think. It’s not enough to simply put the character onto the TV and in ads – you need to make sure people can associate said character with your company.

All the money being spent on a mascot and TV ads should also make you think twice about whether you’re actually getting a good deal with the major players. It’s a toss up: do you want a company that has powerful influence over its masses via advertising, or a company that provides more focus on policy service options instead? It ends up being centered on personal preference. It’s like food preferences, some people want name brand because it’s comforting to see a familiar corporate mascot. Other people want store brand, because it’s a more affordable alternative.

That said, be sure to shop around for insurance quotes online and also contact an independent insurance agent to ensure you get the most complete coverage at the lowest price.

Related: Top Auto Insurance Companies

(photo: kelsey_lovefusionphoto)