Study: Display Ads Trump TV at Brand Awareness for Insurers

Nine times greater, per RocketFuel

Update: The original version of this story wrongly suggested that display ads were nine times more likely to lead to coversions compared to TV.

Insurance companies may want to consider advertising online rather than spending their money on the traditional TV spot.

A new study by RocketFuel shows that digital display advertising is nine times better at creating immediate brand awareness for auto and life insurance providers than a commercial on the tube. The programmatic media platform claimed that if one of those companies were willing to cough up $1 million for digital advertising, they would see the same name recognition effect as if they spent the cash on TV, print, search or radio spots, according to the report.

"Consumers are bombarded with a deluge of options when it comes to choosing an insurance provider – and this competitive climate shows that top-of-mind awareness is key for insurers to win over the customer," Robert Jones, research director at Rocket Fuel, said in a press release. "Due to the oversaturation of TV advertising, auto and life insurers can generate better ROI from their marketing programs by shifting budget from TV channels into digital, particularly digital display, which is currently under-utilized by most providers."

The survey asked 1,026 people about what they thought about various auto, life and homeowner insurance companies. When it came to auto insurance, GEICO, State Farm and Allstate were the most recognizable.

The data could be important, considering that the Redwood City, CA-based company also discovered that one out of 10 consumers were likely to switch insurance companies in the next six months—and consumers were more likely to make the plunge within eight hours of seeing an ad.

How can you convince people to sign up with your digital display ad? The programmatic platform said that ads with red or blue backgrounds had a 20 percent higher chance of convincing a person to switch providers compared to the average. Having the "apply now" call-to-action was 80 percent more likely to get someone to actually apply than those that suggested the person "get a quote." Providing pricing information didn't sway people any more than not including such numbers. And, animating the ad did get more people to click on it—but it didn't necessary persuade them to join the company.

Lastly, putting a human face or a person on an ad, per RocketFuel, led to a 177 percent increased probability that the person would sign up.