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Pathmatics Blog

The Top 3 Insurance Creatives of 2016

March 08 2017 by Jordan Kramer
In an age where brands are competing fiercely across a multitude of digital device types for the attention of consumers, it is crucial for advertisers to choose their creative investments wisely. But, how do you choose between devices - desktop, desktop video, mobile, or mobile video? Or creative types - image, HTML5, in-banner or in-stream video, etc? The answers aren't easy, because it depends on where your audience is, and also where your competitors are.
We compiled the top creatives by spend from the insurance sector during 2016 to see how big spending brands like Progressive, Geico, and State Farm were investing their ad budgets. We also examined the sites the creatives ran on, and historical trends throughout the year. Use this data to power your own strategy, whether you’re in the Financial Services  category or not, to benchmark your own campaign spend and goal objectives. 

1. Progressive's "You Could Save"

Progressive shelled out over $53.9M in 2016 across desktop, mobile, and desktop video during 2016, also making them eighth top digital advertising spender from the financial services category. The brand also had the top insurance creative for the year with a 300x250 HTML5 creative that had an original flight date of October 22nd, 2015. The creative ran as recently as February 22nd of this year but won out overall as the top creative by spend for 2016. Clearly, this is an effective creative yielding high conversions for Progressive considering the duration of the campaign and the spend.
Over $4.47M was invested on the creative that garnered 815M impressions while running on top sites such as Ebay, AOL, Oodle, Reddit, and Walmart. Spend for this specific creative spiked in April of 2016 and also in Q4, with the most significant spike for the year happening in November. Featuring spokeswoman Flo, the creative draws the most attention to the amount of money you can save by switching to their service and encourages the prospective customer to enter their zip code. The ad then directs to this landing page with a clean design and white color scheme to convince the prospect to enter their zip code again for an auto insurance quote.
See below for the overall spend and impression data for the creative and attribute specifications.

2. Geico's "Saving Money Brightens Your Day"

While Geico spent more on digital advertising in 2016 overall compared to competitor Progressive, the brand had the second top creative by spend for the year. Geico spent nearly 60% of their colossal $144M digital budget on desktop video during 2016, however their top creative by investment was a 300x250 HTML5 desktop ad that returned 1.15B impressions. Similar in style to Progressive’s top creative, the creative is simple and states: “Saving money brightens your day.” The CTA is also simplistic, encouraging prospects to “Begin a Quote.”
This creative also ran for over a year, first being detected on December 17th, 2015 and running until February 1st of this year, demonstrating the ad provided a pleasing conversion rate for the brand. Geico placed the creative on top sites Ebay, KBB, Yahoo, NadaGuides, and Edmunds, investing over $4.4M in total on the ad. Once consumers clicked through the ad that required them to only click on it, not enter a zip code, they were directed to this landing page featuring the famed gecko mascot asking them to then enter their zip code.

3. Geico's "Never Tell Your Mother-In-Law She Can Stay As Long As She Wants"

Geico also captured the third top creative by spend for the insurance sector during 2016, with a desktop video creative. Running from February 12th, 2016 to December 4th of the same year, the creative spiked significantly towards the end of Q3 after being paused throughout the summer months. Geico invested over $4.39M on the 15 second video creative that ran on YouTube, the Daily Dot, Metal Injection, Modern Farmer, and Your EDM, reaping in 213M impressions. Watch the full video creative here.

Why Is it A Progressive and Geico Competition?

Progressive followed up with the fourth top insurance creative by spend for 2016, before passing the baton back to Geico for the fifth top spot. So why is it a competition between only these two brands for top creatives in the insurance sector? State Farm was the fourth top spender for the financial services category in 2016, yet their top creative only barely broke the $3M mark. Allstate and Liberty Mutual followed closely behind in the financial services category overall by digital spend for the year, ranking in the #10 and #14 spots, but their top creatives never even entered into the $3M spend range.  That’s because Progressive and Geico invested heavily in a limited number of creatives consistently, rather than distributing their budget on more of their creatives throughout the year. One could argue that the two brands saw enough success with these specific creatives to warrant an increase in investment and campaign duration over time. While some best ad practices say to freshen up your ad campaigns regularly to increase awareness, perhaps, if the creative works…don’t fix it.


**All trademarks & copyrights property of their respective owners.
Source: Pathmatics US Desktop, Mobile, and Video Data, January 1st, 2016 - December 31st, 2016.

The Top Financial Services Advertisers for Q3

Our free report, Top Financial Services Digital Advertisers in Q3 2016, has an in-depth breakdown of financial services ad strategy in Q3 2016 across desktop, mobile/tablet, video and content. 

Download the Report


About Author
Jordan Kramer

An out-of-the-box thinker with a love for disruptive ideas, Jordan's background spans PR and events for the wedding & hospitality industry in Los Angeles and Scottsdale and also launching one of America's most unique food trucks. She jumped from the food start-up scene to the tech start-up scene in 2013 to join one of the most unique companies in ad tech. Jordan is a graduate of the University of California, Santa Barbara with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication.

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