Insurance companies appear to be taking a page from the food marketers’ handbook. A recent report in Youth Markets Alert describes how insurance companies are expanding their efforts to reach the youngest consumers: kids and teens.  One company, American Family Insurance, is sponsoring the “Clifford the Big Red Dog Be Big” campaign while State Farm has underwritten the Nickelodeon’s “Go Diego, Go Live! Tour.”

These investments are all about educating young consumers on the value of insurance while influencing them with brand messages.  According to Carole Walker of the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association, the teen demographic is very important to auto insurance firms. At the time when many teens begin to drive, families may start looking around for a  new carrier. Cost is often a motivating factor as  a teen driver can add 50% to auto premiums. “Teens really trigger shopping among parents,” says Walker.

Recognizing the influence that teens and younger children may have on the parental decision-making process, insurance carriers are putting more money and effort in youth-specific marketing programs. These include:

  • 2010 Aflac All-American High School Baseball Classic – sponsorship includes signage and uniforms.
  • TV ads promoting a partnership between Geico and Disney is tied to the animated film The Princess and the Frog.
  • Kids 15 and under, of South Asian descent, can compete for a $5,000 scholarship in the 2010 MetLife South Asian Spelling Bee.
  • Smoke Detectives is State Farm’s game micro-site targeting younger consumers while educating them on the topic of fire safety.

Many of these programs are examples of creative marketing solutions applied to the continuing challenge of getting consumer attention. As new technology becomes available, marketers can develop and deploy new campaigns to effectively promote their brands.

[Source: Insurance Companies Use Education, Mascots, And Live Events To Reach Youth At Every Life Stage. Youth Market Alert. EPMCOM.com. March 2010]