Farmers Ushers In the Holidays

CEA Commercial for Insurer Raises the Roof on Decorated Home
DETROIT–Campbell-Ewald Advertising uses holiday images to convey the importance of dealing with a reliable insurance company in a new campaign for Farmers Insurance Group breaking on Thanksgiving Day.
The Warren, Mich., agency and the company had considered a holiday spot for several years, but wanted to stay away from a run-of-the-mill “Happy Holidays” ad, said Deborah A. Karnowsky, CEA executive vice president and executive creative director.
The new spot, “Snowman,” employs the reverse slow-motion technique used in the last three Farmers spots, rolling back the effects of a caved-in roof in a holiday decorated home. The visual is set to the jaunty clarinet rendition of the Gershwins’ ”S Wonderful’ that the company has used for nonholiday commercials.
“It’s really using television to its best because television is so visual,” Karnowsky said.
The idea is to position Farmers as a company that, per the themeline, “Gets you back where you belong,” Karnowsky said. Research indicated that people see their possessions as crucial to their identity, and all they want after a disaster is to “get their stuff back,” she said.
“The more you can see a company that recognizes that and the faster they can get at dealing with it–that’s really what [Farmers] is all about,” Karnowsky said.
Research also indicated the company’s message has additional relevance during the holidays.
The new spot will air through Jan. 2 during regular and holiday programming on network affiliates, including the NBC Thanksgiving Day Parade. Cable channels include TBS and TNT. Previously shot nonholiday spots will then resume. At least one new spot is planned for 2000, said Jeffrey Beyer, Farmers vice president for corporate communications.
Farmers, based in Los Angeles, spent about $11 million on measured media advertising in 1998, and about $6 million through the first seven months of 1999, according to Competitive Media Reporting.