Watch: Insurance Gets Scary (Happy Friday the 13th)

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Ad Age

In case you forgot it's Friday the 13th (and in October no less), Farmers Insurance is here with a reminder: The Woodland Hills, California-based insurer is releasing a new digital campaign, "Stranger Claims," highlighting the spookier aspects of actual insurance claims.

In one spot, "Revenge of the Sycamores," trees destroy an old farmer's house in a storm—and hint that the scourge is possibly the price of trespassing on hallowed ground.

And horror enthusiasts can only imagine what goes down in "Dawn of the Deer." In total, Farmers is running five claim videos, all around 45 seconds in length, and a 360-degree virtual experience on its site. The campaign will appear on social media, YouTube and through Facebook Canvas from Friday through Oct. 31.

"We wanted to give consumers a 360-degree interactive view of the creepiest part of the Hall of Claims," said Leesa Eichberger, head of brand marketing at Farmers, in a statement. She added that the campaign highlights the "breadth and depth of some of Farmers' strongest claims-handling know-how."

Farmers worked with RPA on the ads, a relationship that dates back seven years to when the Santa Monica, California-based agency created the "We are Farmers" jingle. Zenith Media handled media placements. The campaign follows Farmers' campaign earlier this year when it created its own animal-centric Oscars push (see related articles, below).

While up against several larger players in the insurance space, Farmers has been holding its own from a brand perspective and made inroads with consumers via its digital innovation, according to Ellen Carney, a principal analyst at Forrester. She noted that the brand has been comfortable trying new technology to deliver improved claims experiences to customers—and that can be critical. In August, Farmers began offering policy and claims information via Amazon's Alexa.

"The top reasons for consumers switching insurance companies is a bad claims experience—even more than a higher price," says Carney. Though she has not yet seen the new Farmers work, she does caution against trivializing the claims experience with too much quirkiness given recent disasters such as the California wildfires and hurricanes.

Last year, Farmers spent $135.7 million on measured media in the U.S., according to Kantar Media, slightly below the $140.9 million it spent in 2015.

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