Second in a two-part series about insurance advertising on radio
As insurance brands allocate more ad dollars to radio, they’ve made sonic branding an irrepressible part of their audio creative. Those catchy signature jingles translate so well into the audio space that the insurance industry captured the top four positions in the 2020 Audio Logo Index, compiled by ad creative testing company Veritonic.
Audio logos from Liberty Mutual, State Farm, Farmers Insurance and Nationwide took the top four positions, respectively. State Farm was a notable winner in 2020. This year the insurance provider reintroduced the brand name into its mnemonic, a decision that catapulted it 14 positions to No. 2 in the index.
“What the data has shown, year-over-year, is actually mentioning the brand name in the audio logo drives great response,” says Scott Klass, Senior VP of Marketing at Veritonic. “Liberty says its name repeatedly but not everyone does that. Those that include their name in the audio logo score much better than the guys that don’t.”
In fact, those that did had five times the proper brand association than those that didn’t. Meanwhile, Nationwide’s decision to go the other way and eliminate all words from their sonic brand led to a staggering 28-point drop in proper brand association. “A much lower percentage of people could correctly identify what the brand was because they had dropped their brand name from the logo,” Klass says.
“The insurance category scored the highest overall Veritonic Audio Score, which takes recall, brand ID, conveyance of brand attributes, and emotional triggers into consideration,” says Christine Travaglini, President at Katz Radio Group. “That’s a great reason why radio is always super effective for this category. Studies have shown that advertisers with strong sonic brands generate a stronger impact with radio.”
Creative Is Critical
For marketers selling a commodity like insurance, creative messaging is critical. “It has to be impactful and connect and also become indelible in consumer’s hearts and minds. That’s why you see some of these brands almost out-creating each other, or bringing their specific value to market in a really unique way,” says Tammy Greenberg, who heads Business Development at the Radio Advertising Bureau. “The only way to break though and set yourself apart is through a very strong brand identity and point of view with relevance and creativity.”
The pandemic forced virtually all advertisers to re-think their creative in 2020 and the insurance industry was no exception. Major brands adjusted their legendary mnemonics to reflect what was going on in the market. In place of the in-your-face “Liberty, Liberty, Liberty… Liberty!” jingle, Liberty Mutual maintained the signature melody but softened it to just a piano version with no vocal accompaniment. “They were very conscious of the fact that they needed to make some alterations and not just let that big old brand plough through, since it wasn’t sensitive to the times,” Klass says. State Farm also made modifications to how its sonic signature was represented in ads. “Those ads for those two companies scored consistently above the Veritonic benchmark for insurance. The ads were very successful,” Klass says. “Brand consistency is a major concern to these guys but in this case they took a little gamble and they changed it and it paid off tremendously.”
Klass says the decision to alter their audio logos for the pandemic was a result of chief marketing officers being closely attuned to the market. “The CMOs are being extremely smart about looking at data and listening to the market, along with having very creative approaches to advertising. All of that is leading to success.”
Click HERE to read part one of this series, “Why The Insurance Industry Doubled Down On Radio In 2020.”