The insurance industry is one of radio’s largest – and most dependable – ad categories, placing three brands among the top 10 radio advertisers of 2020, based on spot volume, according to Media Monitors. Veritonic, which provides data and insights on audio marketing, takes a broader view, tracking who is running ads across traditional radio, podcasts, and streaming audio services.
As part of its new category-by-category Audio Intelligence Infographic series, Veritonic put the insurance industry under its data microscope and found that GEICO is the insurance industry’s top audio user, capturing a 42.6% share of audio voice, followed by Progressive at No. 2 with 22.5% and Allstate a distant third with 6%. That’s a little different from Media Monitors data, which shows Progressive as the top advertiser in radio in 2020 among all brands, followed by GEICO at No. 2 and Allstate at No. 6.
As part of the data and insights it provides on audio marketing, Veritonic rates how well commercials perform with listeners. Among insurance brands it rates Allstate’s ads at No. 1, as they beat competitor ads across multiple success metrics. “More serious in tone, Allstate ads were considered more empowering, relaxed, likable and trustworthy than their competitors’ ads,” Veritonic says in the Insurance Edition of its Audio Intelligence series.
As any regular radio listener can attest, nearly every large insurance company uses a unique personality to tie consumers to their brand, from a character like the GEICO gecko to a spokesperson. But Veritonic's research found the voice of Allstate's longstanding spokesperson, Dennis Haysbert, “proved most powerful here, making it the most recognized brand in this analysis.” Allstate scored a 55% in brand recognition by voice, beating Progressive (38%) and Farmers (31%). Haysert’s voice was matched with Allstate “with almost complete certainty” (97%) while runner-up Flo had a “staggeringly low certainty rate” (2%) for its association with Progressive, even though the brand was associated correctly 38% of the time.
The trend in audio insurance ads has been to focus on price in the script and use generous amounts of humor in the spot's tone. “But don’t be fooled,” Veritonic cautions. “The usual way isn’t the only way.” Whether it’s the abnormal social tone of the past year or consumers tiring of repetition, data show insurance advertisers may be wise to consider tone besides humor and value points besides only price to increase the effectiveness of their ads. “This is clearly a strong factor in Allstate’s overall win,” Veritonic says. “It was the only brand that employed a more straightforward approach over humor, and it paid off.”
The data also shows that consumers are looking for a lot more than just the lowest price tag. “Not only did they consider range of coverage and the lack of added fees as equally important to price, ads focused on other qualities drive some of the highest purchase intent in the analysis,” Veritonic concludes.