Mascots dominate insurance company ads: Perry Haan



One of the trends in insurance company advertising has been the increased use of mascots in advertising.

This trend started in 1999 when GEICO insurance decided to break away from traditionally boring insurance ads and introduced the Gecko.

The Gecko was the first and still resonates with consumers as it was chosen the most popular insurance ad mascot in a recent survey. The tagline that GEICO introduced at the same time, “GEICO — 15 minutes could save you 15% or more on car insurance,” and still uses today, is credited with lifting the company from No. 7 in auto insurance sales to No. 2.

Flo from Progressive is towards the top of the list. She and the AFLAC Duck have both been featured in their companies’ ads for more than 20 years.

While showing up on the most popular list, the AFLAC Duck is also high on the most annoying list. It is a good example of what is known in the advertising industry as “wear out.” This is when viewers of the ads get tired of seeing the same ad or, in this case, mascot in the ads.

Advertising executives are constantly trying to evaluate when a character or ad campaign wears out and needs to be replaced. The problem is that retiring a current advertising character or campaign means they have to start all over with a new approach, which may or may not be as popular as what they are Replacing.

Jake from State Farm and Farmers Insurance’s Professor Burke are also on the most likeable list. So is the Mayhem character from Allstate. Those Mayhem ads always seem a little creepy and probably why the Mayhem character is also on the most annoying list.

The latest turn in the insurance mascot world is an

Read the rest