Mercury Insurance Taps Ground Zero

LOS ANGELES Mercury Insurance Group has tapped independent Ground Zero here for its estimated $50 million ad account following a review.

“Ground Zero went beyond the standard pitch and really impressed us with their insight into our business and brand,” said Erik Thompson, director of advertising at Mercury. “They took the time to understand the marketplace and where we fit, and then presented some very compelling creative ideas that will clearly differentiate Mercury from the competition.”

According to sources, the review finalists, all in Southern California, were: Interpublic Group’s Dailey & Associates here, independent M&C Saatchi, Marina del Rey, and independent Ignited, El Segundo.
 
Ground Zero CCO and partner Court Crandall will lead the creative team on Mercury with Mike Bokman (art director) and Jimbo Embry (copywriter), who joined Crandall during the pitch.

“It’s a big win for us because it reinforces the belief that our positioning — “ideas that mean business” — is applicable to everything from beef jerky to automobile insurance,” said Crandall.

The publicly traded company claims to be the third-largest private-party insurance company in California, with assets of more than $4 billion.
 
Mercury, based here, spent more than $50 million advertising in 2006, but dropped to $30 million last year and around $10 million during the first quarter of 2008, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus.