Quirky, offbeat advertisements for car insurance have been a TV staple for over twenty years. Reticent lizards and an unreservedly cheerful woman in white are now a natural part of our cultural landscape. However, while these adverts succeed in entertaining their audience, the adverts themselves have little to do with cars. In fact, vehicles rarely make an appearance in these ads at all.
While some TV ads in this vein have undoubtedly been successful, galvanizing consumers to make contact and sign up for car insurance often requires a more tactical approach through a variety of digital platforms. Choosing smart marketing images for car insurance plays a vital role in this sort of targeted marketing, particularly for agencies that don’t have the budget for slick broadcast ads. Fortunately, online advertising evens the playing field, and the right approach can help agencies both large and small capture a new audience.
FOCUSING CAR INSURANCE MARKETING ON CARS
The success of a relative newcomer to the world of notable car insurance ads provides a strong argument for focusing on the products being insured. In 2010, Allstate debuted its Mayhem line of adverts, featuring humorous, scenario-driven skits focusing solidly on what was being insured. “We knew we needed…a loud thunderclap to tell people that we cared about them,” Lisa Cochrane, senior VP-marketing at Allstate, told AdAge. “Mayhem is there to change the conversation, to disrupt the commoditization of insurance, and to provide you with something to think about to make sure that you have the right coverage.” The campaign was an overnight success and continued to serve as a core part of Allstate’s marketing strategy for the next decade.
The success of the Mayhem campaign stands in sharp contrast to the Erin Esurance campaign. In the early 2000s, television audiences got to follow along with the adventures of an animated secret agent named Erin Esurance in ads for Esurance car insurance. The mascot and the name of the company both succeeded in gaining widespread recognition. However, sales of car insurance policies were not actually increasing; rather than promoting car insurance, the ads appeared to be effective primarily in promoting the character of Erin Esurance.
Not all insurance firms have the budget for national television advertising, of course, but these campaigns offer a valuable lesson about product focus that can be applied at all levels: show the car. Highlighting the products that consumers want to protect is likely to speak to them far more than any amount of humor or offbeat messaging—and it’s more likely to sell insurance.
High-Quality Marketing Images for Car Insurance Give Agencies an Edge
The internet opens up extraordinary new opportunities to reach customers in economically viable ways. Even small car insurance companies can now reach a large audience and deploy targeted marketing that offers a higher return on investment than the wide net cast by traditional media. The strategic use of high-quality marketing images for car insurance can be vital to efforts across marketing channels.
One of the most popular marketing channels the internet offers is advertising on streaming video sites. Often, the car insurance ads in these slots are the same as those on TV. But this doesn’t necessarily make effective use of the medium and can backfire by disrupting a viewer’s browsing experience with excessive length. While agencies can feature more complex ads in these spaces, it can also pay to be brief. Drive-in videos or short editorial videos of cars with an estimated price, for example, can be impactful without being overwhelming. What’s more, these ads can be highly targeted; depending on the user data accessed, agencies can present videos of the specific cars that users are searching for—whether they own the model or are looking to buy in the future.
However, there are several marketing channels that may have a greater impact than video ads on streaming sites, including:
- Website banner advertising
- Social media advertising
- Agency websites
All three of these channels have the advantage of being able to be targeted at interested audiences through different mechanisms. As with streaming sites, online advertising algorithms can track search histories. This means that someone who has been browsing for a particular car can be presented with the exact car and an estimated quote from an insurance agency for that car in the area in which they live. Social media advertising allows for similar targeting of marketing content, but may be able to narrow in on even more specific geographic areas for local car insurance agencies and local franchises of national agencies. Being able to reach a highly targeted audience means that marketing campaigns can be designed with images that speak to that specific audience for more precise messaging. It is imperative to choose images and videos that make the most of that opportunity and quickly captivate the viewer, whether it’s a striking splash image or an interactive panorama of a vehicle’s interior.
The agency website should also be a central component of the marketing strategy. Not only can high-quality marketing images help create a cohesive visual aesthetic and solidify brand identity, but they can also be an integral part of the online insurance quote and purchase process. By offering images of each make and model that appear based on the criteria a customer selects, agencies can create a more engaging online experience while also reassuring customers that the quote they are seeing corresponds to their specific vehicle.
Finding High-Quality Car Images for Car Insurance Marketing
Partnering with a stock library that specializes in automotive imagery ensures that a car insurance agency has access to all the images it needs to support its online marketing efforts. While some agencies will always prefer to shoot their own commercials, others can create robust video marketing campaigns using exclusively stock video. Additionally, access to stock photos, videos, and XR assets means that even agencies that produce a portion of their own imagery can create fully fleshed out digital content strategies unlike anything they could access on their own. When high-quality automotive images are integrated throughout an agency’s digital presence, customers are met with compelling content regardless of where they are in the sales funnel—and leads can more quickly turn to sales.
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