‘Big I’ Seeks to Burnish Insurance Agents’ Image

Campaign From Powers Suggests Customers Truly Do Come First
CHICAGO–Emphasizing personal service and value, Progressive Auto Insurance and the Independent Insurance Agents of America are working together to create a better image for insurance agents with new TV spots from Powers & Associates, Cincinnati.
“Our strategy is to build a very solid, consistent local brand for the independent agent,” said Peter van Aartrijk, vice president communications for the insurance association, which refers to itself as the “Big I.”
Two 30-second TV spots, titled “The Meaning of Value” and “The Meaning of Service,” were initially developed for use by any of the Big I’s 300,000 members. Powers is the association’s agency of record.
The campaign juxtaposes scenes of family harmony, children playing and smiling service providers with images of frustrated customers accessing an automated information line. “We don’t work for some big company; we work for you,” the commercials state.
The spots are also available in a format that reserves five seconds for agents to tag on local information.
The emphasis of the campaign is to suggest that independent agents “really do have customers’ best interests at heart,” said Powers creative director Lori Graf. “It’s somebody you can call when something goes wrong.”
The commercials were modified somewhat for use by Progressive, the largest writer of auto insurance through independent agents. Progressive earlier this month selected Doner, Southfield, Mich., as agency of record for its estimated $70 million account.
The Big I is talking with other insurance providers to launch similar collaborative efforts, said van Aartrijk.
Spending on the current campaign was not released. In the past the insurance association has spent $16 million annually, at times using the late Raymond Burr as a spokesman, van Aartrijk said.