Campbell-Ewald Touts Farmers’ HelpPoint Service

Banking on the idea that customers need more than financial assistance following an accident or theft, Farmers Insurance has unveiled a $5 million Campbell-Ewald/West campaign touting its HelpPoint service.

The Los Angeles-based insurer’s 24-hour call-in service differentiates it from competitors such as Geico, said client representative David Crocker. The service, launched in September and free to Farmers customers, aims to provide emotional and logistical assistance.

Following a car accident, for example, customers can call HelpPoint and reach a licensed claims representative, who can send a rental car to the crash site, call a tow truck, bring the damaged car home once it’s fixed and return the rental.

Call-center staff have also received empathy training. “They remedy the situation,” Crocker said, “and help you deal with the emotions you’re dealing with so you can start the process of fixing what went wrong.”

A black-and-white TV spot from Campbell-Ewald in Santa Monica, Calif., features a bespectacled man who becomes increasingly agitated as a voiceover says, “Just when it seems like life couldn’t get any better, your whole world can turn upside-down.” The words “accident,” “fire” and “burglary” float ominously across the screen, along with questions such as “What do I do?”

The ad, airing now, retains the tagline, “Farmers. Gets you back where you belong.”

The 30-second spot was modified following Sept. 11. The original, which never aired, featured a city scape turned upside-down, said executive creative director Debbie Karnowsky. Since the spot was shot on green-screen, the agency did not need to reshoot it. Wider shots were eliminated to focus on closeups of the man, and text was added.

“We think this still conveys what we want HelpPoint to convey, which is that when bad things happen, your world really is upside-down, and in that man’s face you’re seeing it,” Crocker said.

The campaign also includes outdoor, newspaper and radio ads.

The TV spot is airing nationally during such programs as Dharma & Greg and JAG, and on such stations as ESPN and MSNBC.