Nationwide insurance increased its advertising in 2013 by a greater percentage than all other major property and casualty insurance companies, according to a report released by SNL Insurance, which tracks the financial-services industry.
Nationwide spent $352 million on advertising last year, up 13.8% from 2012. That’s on top of an 11.8% increase in 2012. Nationwide is now the #6 insurance advertiser, jumping over Farmers, which cut its advertising 21% last year, noted the Columbus CEO story.
“Our competitors outspend us on advertising, so we are very smart about how we allocate our resources,” said Matt Jauchius, Nationwide’s chief marketing officer. “Our goal is to ‘punch above our weight,’ using data and analytics to help us get the right message in front of the right audience at the right time to build our brand and to build consumer consideration.”
Geico, with its “Gecko” mascot, is far and away the top insurance advertiser, spending nearly $1.2 billion last year, according to SNL. Next is Allstate, with its “Mayhem” character, at $886 million, followed by State Farm at $803 million.
Progressive, with its “Flo” character, had the second-biggest increase on a percentage basis, 13.2%. But its ad spending in 2012 was down 1.9% from 2011.
The boost in spend by Nationwide the past two years comes after the insurer dumped the “World’s Greatest Spokesperson in the World” campaign and launched the “Join the Nation” campaign, with actress Julia Roberts serving as the voice for the insurer’s commercials.
Nationwide has struck deals with NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. and his No. 88 Hendrick Motorsports Chevrolet, the Dallas Cowboys, quarterback Peyton Manning and the team he plays for, the Denver Broncos.
“TV is still the best way to reach consumers, but digital advertising is increasingly important,” Jauchius said. “Through digital channels, advertisers are able to reach consumers much more efficiently. We are also focused on connecting our brand with consumers on their terms. That’s why we are investing in our relationship with Dale Jr. and NASCAR, as well as Peyton Manning and pro football franchises like the Dallas Cowboys and Denver Broncos. Pro-sports fans are loyal to sponsors, and building these relationships is a key way we are able to generate demand for our products and services.”
SNL said in the report that Nationwide may be poised to spend even more, noting the deals with Manning and the Broncos.
“Finally, Nationwide also appears ready to up the ante with the larger advertisers going forward, betting its ad dollars on football fans,” SNL said.
The report notes that the big increases in ad spending overall for the insurance industry from a few years ago are starting to taper off. Last year, ad spend increased by 3% after growing 3.9% in 2012.