Caffery, Oubre, Campbell & Garrison, L.L.P.
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The rise of humor in insurance company branding

There are a variety of things that can have an impact on an insurer’s brand. This includes what an insurer does in its advertising.

Insurance advertising has seen a pretty big shift over the past few decades. Previously, the TV advertising of insurance companies was generally focused on having a solemn and reassuring tone. However, this started to change around the turn of the millennium. Humor started to enter such advertising in a significant way. This move away from the solemn ads of the past has continued, with humor being an incredibly common element in today’s insurance TV commercials.

Why has it become so common for insurers to include humor in some of their branding these days? Factors that could be contributing include hopes that humor can help with connecting with potential customers, given the way today’s customers view insurance, and with attracting customers in younger generations.

As a note, there can be the potential for adding humor to their branding to cause some problems for insurers if not done with appropriate care. If humor crowds out the other important parts of an insurer's brand, it could backfire and drive away rather than draw in customers. This underscores how important it can be for an insurer, when considering taking a certain action, to carefully think about what implications the action could have on the strength of their company’s overall brand.

Another thing that could have ramifications for an insurance company’s brand is how the company acts when major legal matters come up, such as disputes with policyholders over claims or denials. What steps an insurer takes to pursue its various aims in such matters could affect how customers and potential customers perceive the company. So, their branding goals are among the goals it can be important for insurers to take into account in their approach to such legal issues. Attorneys can advise insurers dealing with policyholder disputes or similar matters on what strategies for handling the matters would be consistent with their various goals.

Source: The New York Times, “It Began With a Gecko. Mayhem (and Flo and Peyton) Ensued.,” Joanne Kaufman, Sept. 17, 2017

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