For advertisers, digital video spending has increased 85 percent over the last two years. On average, advertisers spend more than $10 million annually on digital video.
Yet, it’s not nearly as much as the financial services sector’s big spenders are willing to dish out. In Q3 alone, GEICO spent $30 million on digital video advertising. In fact, insurance companies claimed three of the sector’s top five spots in terms of spend.So which insurers took the top video spend spots in Q3, and what were they trying to sell us with those colossal budgets? See below.
GEICO Bets (Really) Big on Video
Among GEICO’s top ten advertisements from Q3 based on spend, the brand put between $898,700 and $1,855,700 into distributing each ad. In total, the brand spent more than $30 million on video alone, with 79 percent going to direct advertising.
The brand spent the most on promoting the ad below. The ad budget was nearly $1.9 million, and it garnered more than 102 million impressions.
The ad has a simple message with a comedic twist—a theme seen across each of GEICO’s top video ads. Here’s the transcript: “Here’s two pieces of good advice: Number one, switch to GEICO and you could save hundreds. Number two, never tell your mother-in-law she can stay as long as she wants.”
The line, “Here’s two pieces of good advice,” shows up in multiple top GEICO ads. Each has an actor speaking directly to the camera, in an uncomfortable situation for a bit of dry humor. The ad below, which GEICO put around $1,682,100 advertising spend into, is another example.
A majority of GEICO’s top ads are direct 15-second brand awareness ads that tout savings, and most induce a small chuckle at the end (depending on your sense of humor).And of course, among the top ten video advertisements, the GEICO gecko makes appearances at the fifth and eighth highest spend spots. GEICO put about $1,573,200 into the ad below, which took the fifth highest spend spot in the brand’s video lineup.
State Farm Tugs At Our Heartstrings
Not only was State Farm the third highest financial services video spender in Q3, but the also the third highest overall spender in the sector. At nearly one-third of GEICO’s spend, State Farm put almost $10 million into digital video.
Unlike a majority of GEICO’s ads, each of State Farm’s top ads ran for 30 seconds, as opposed to 15. State Farm’s top video ad (below) was promoted with nearly the same budget as GEICO’s top ad (more than $1.8 million), and garnered about 90 million impressions.
While some of State Farm’s top ads also make use of dry humor, the advertisement above instead tugs at the heartstrings. Here’s a piece of the transcript: “State Farm understands that getting the most out of life doesn’t mean just being there when things go wrong. It’s about being here in all of life’s moments when things go perfectly right.”
The ad below, which had the fifth highest spend at about $747,800 uses similar positive, emotional messaging to build brand awareness.
Another top video ad juxtaposes a positive and negative situation, stating, “State Farm knows that for every one of those moments, there’s one of these.” These advertisements take up the second, third and fourth spots in terms of State Farm’s video spend. The ad below is just one example.
In each of State Farm’s ads, the brand paints itself as a support system, claiming to be “here to help life go right,” as opposed to GEICO’s ads, which focus on saving money.
Allstate Enlists Big Name Celebrities
As the fifth highest video ad spender in financial services, Allstate spent just over one-tenth of GEICO’s Q3 budget (around $3.6 million).
Unlike GEICO and State Farm, a majority of Allstate’s top ads tout specific products, such as claim-free rewards and the brand’s DriveWise app, and each features a celebrity endorser. Each top ad takes a light tone, similar to GEICO’s ads.
Allstate put the most spend into the below ad, which features actress and comedian Leslie Jones.
Three variations of this ad take the top three spots in terms of spend, totaling about $1.13 million.
Coming in fourth for spend is a brand awareness ad featuring actor Adam DeVine, with spend totaling around $311,800 for this particular version. However, DeVine appeared in three of the brand’s top ten ads, which totaled about $759,600 in promotion budget.
Wrapping up Allstate’s top celebrity endorsements in digital video was television personality Tim Gunn, who sold us on Allstate’s claim-free rewards. These ads took the fifth, sixth and eighth spend spots, with ad spend totaling $951,400, and surpassing spend for DeVine’s top ads.
Despite a difference in tactics and tone, each of the top insurance advertisers had their eyes on a top-of-the-funnel audience with ads that were geared toward brand awareness. Allstate and GEICO touted prices more than their competitor, State Farm, who struck a more emotional tone and aimed for the audience’s trust.
Want more insights on how financial services giants spend their ad dollars? Get information on your top competitors’ spending habits with the Top Financial Services Advertisers Report.
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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.