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Throughout the world companies are trying to come up with ad campaigns that raise brand awareness, boost sales numbers and ultimately increase the return on investment for their marketing efforts. There are many different strategies that are used, but brand characters have been an important aspect for several successful ad campaigns. Companies utilize these brand characters because people are instinctively drawn to characters in a story. Most of the time companies create a likeable character that is either funny, interesting, memorable, or best case scenario - all of the above. The Liberty Mutual LiMu Emu and Doug commercials check all of these boxes and do an exceptional job of creating a brand association with the brand characters.

Insurance Company Brand Characters

Insurance companies have recently become famous for the utilization of brand mascots after the Aflac Duck and the Geico Gecko paved the way over 20 years ago. But have these two iconic characters been passed when it comes to being memorable for their respective companies? I wouldn’t go that far, but there are several newly introduced characters that are stealing a lot of attention. In 2008, Flo from Progressive made her debut shocking the world with her flourishing success for the company. Two years later, AllState introduced the successful ‘Mayhem’ commercials featuring a man who creates all sorts of trouble.

The most recent characters to debut for an insurance company is the undeniably unique duo LiMu Emu and Doug for Liberty Mutual. Although some people find the characters annoying or unlikeable, the LiMu Emu is memorable and does an excellent job of linking the amusing commercials with the Liberty Mutual brand. Time will tell whether or not this brand character duo will sustain, but for now they have served their purpose of increasing brand awareness. If Liberty Mutual decides to continue with this ad campaign, LiMu Emu and Doug have the potential to have a great deal of success and raise the return on investment for Liberty Mutual.

Why do we connect with brand characters?

Whether you hate the LiMu Emu or love it, like so many other brand mascots, the unique animal does a great job of creating a strong brand association for Liberty Mutual. When people see the LiMu Emu they know exactly which company it represents, similarly to the gecko with Geico. Why is it that we as humans associate better with a consistently used storyline and protagonist rather than several discontinuous commercials?

The non-scientific explanation is that humans love a good story. We remember the past through stories, we think in stories, and we communicate in stories. We love to meet a new character and watch them evolve over time as they go through different challenges and experiences. But how does this correlate with advertising ? In the early 1900’s there were not nearly as many avenues to communicate with customers, but marketers learned that if they created a character that customers could associate with, then they would latch onto it and begin to buy their products. One great example of this is the Trix Rabbit, a marketing creation for General Mills. The famous slogan “Silly rabbit, Trix are for kids” still lives today as General Mills tries to connect with kids across the country.

Buying insurance is never fun or exciting, yet these insurance companies still use humorous or entertaining brand mascots to represent their company. This tends to ease the mood and make a stressful purchase a little more enjoyable. These marketing campaign strategies have worked for insurance companies over the recent years and have also worked for many other industries well before. Could it work in your industry?

When planning your ad campaign, it is important to craft your strategies so that customers will instantly associate the ad with your brand. Brand mascots do a great job of this and also add some excitement that wasn’t there previously. You also want to make sure that your campaign aligns with your business ideals and beliefs. These two ad campaign measures are critical to ensure success.

Inner Spark Creative

Inner Spark Creative takes pride in our ability to help companies with their marketing and ad campaigns. Our staff has over 30 years of combined experience in marketing, public relations, website design, graphic design and photography. If you want to bolster your marketing efforts, need a new website, or are unsure about how to proceed we’d love to schedule a free consultation. You can reach out to us at (334) 826-7502!

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