In Carrier Management, LEVICK Senior Vice President Derede McAlpin discusses how insurers are adjusting their marketing tactics to reflect the nation’s demographic shift.
State Farm’s sly update of its “Jake from State Farm” campaign is one of a number of property/casualty insurers’ advertising campaigns that increasingly acknowledge diversity in the world around them—and in the customers they hope to reach. Beyond State Farm’s ad, they include Allstate’s commercials with “24” actor Dennis Haysbert; rapper Snoop Dogg and former NBA great Shaquille O’Neal promoting The General Insurance; and actor Leslie Odom Jr., famous for his role in Broadway’s “Hamilton” musical, performing in Nationwide television ads. Progressive has its Motaur campaign, with a half-man/half-motorcycle character played by a Black actor, while Travelers has hit diversity notes by featuring Black families in more traditional advertising campaigns.
These efforts have been ongoing in recent years, though they stand out during a spring and summer where Americans have protested and rioted for equality and against police brutality. Insurers say they are taking these steps, and approaching their internal operations, in ways designed to reach out to a multicultural society. In light of the Black Lives Matter movement pushing for the dismantling of systemic racism, companies will also be asked to demonstrate greater action well beyond advertising campaigns, said one observer who acknowledges progress made so far.
“Insurers are adjusting their marketing tactics to reflect the nation’s demographic shift. As a result, people of color are increasingly being featured in insurance advertisements,” Derede McAlpin, a crisis management expert and chair of the litigation and diversity & inclusion practice groups at LEVICK, a public relations firm, acknowledged of changes made so far. “At the end of the day, consumers want to see themselves in insurance storylines and ads.”
At the same time, McAlpin added, the Black Lives Matter protests raises the bar moving forward. “With the recent movement calling for social change, the public will soon demand to see more underrepresented groups in leadership ranks and boardrooms as well,” she said.
Allstate declined comment. The General, owned by American Family, could not be reached.
State Farm and Nationwide explained to Carrier Management steps they’ve taken regarding diversity and advertising and how those approaches fit as part of their broader philosophy on the issue.
The Hanover, a smaller, regional carrier based in Massachusetts, relies more on social media rather than traditional advertising, though the insurer said it has made numerous efforts to diversify its employment and recruitment efforts…Read more