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Amica Pulls a J.D. Power Play

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BOSTON Cronin & Co. seeks to raise doubts among consumers about their current insurance company relationships in a multimedia push for Amica Mutual Insurance.

A 60-second television commercial (which combines two 30-second spots, "Trophy Case" and "Push," that will also run separately) opens on someone placing an award in a display case. "What does it mean when J.D. Power and Associates ranks you highest in customer satisfaction among national auto insurers six years in a row?" the voiceover asks as additional trophies are jammed onto the shelf which begins to sag in the middle, creak and eventually crack.

In the second half of the spot, viewers see the top of an office cabinet; a plant, files and other items are pushed over the edge. The frame widens to reveal that Amica's six J.D. Power trophies are shoving everything off the shelf.

The effort closes with the tagline, "It's not just how you're covered. It's how you're treated." Cronin introduced that theme a year ago in its first work for the Lincoln, R.I.-based client.

Radio, newspaper and magazine ads are also in the mix.

Amica spent $12 million on ads last year, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus.

The new work represents another attempt by Amica to stand out in a crowded marketplace despite spending far less on ads than many of its larger competitors.

Industry leaders like Allstate and State Farm each spend upwards of $200 million annually on measured media and sell their products through licensed brokers. Amica sells its product directly to the public. As such, Amica's campaigns have made greater use of direct appeals. (The new work continues in this mode, keeping a toll-free number on screen at all times.)

"Traditionally, Amica is not one of those companies you'll catch bragging," said Steve Wolfberg, executive vice president and chief creative officer at Cronin, an independent shop in Glastonbury, Conn. "But, in a category overwhelmed by price and service messaging, the J.D. Power recognition stands alone as validation that Amica's commitment to the customer is a cut above the rest. It's the very essence of the brand platform."

The new work will break this week and runs through mid-June in 16 states. Havas' MPG in New York handles media planning and buying.