Who are the best insurance mascots of all time? | Insurance Business America
The best insurance mascots have traits that set them apart. Find out which of these are most popular with insurance buyers
A talking lizard, frolicking fowl, and mayhem personified—there’s no shortage of insurance mascots and characters these days, and most importantly: brand awareness.
In a highly competitive industry like insurance, businesses use advertising as a powerful tool to stand out from the crowd and capture consumer attention. The best insurance mascots make those commercials more understandable.
In this article, Insurance Business lists the most famous and popular insurance mascots and characters based on a recent survey of over a thousand American adults. We’ll also take a closer look at the numbers and find out why these characters have gained so much fame. Here are the 10 best insurance mascots of all time, ranked by popularity, chosen by the insurance buyers themselves.
1. The Gecko – GEICO
By far the top dog on the list… I mean the lizard, GEICO’s iconic mascot leads the rankings in terms of fame and lovability, which is not surprising given that the British Cockney-accented gecko started it all. Introduced in 1999, the mascot has since become the most recognizable aspect of many of the insurer’s commercials.
The gecko’s popularity stems from the fact that it’s not only funny and likeable, but also has a catchy slogan. Who hasn’t heard him remind his customers that “You could save 15% or more on your car insurance in 15 minutes?” And I bet you didn’t know that the idea was entirely his. Here the gecko explains the origin of this famous slogan.
The Berkshire Hathaway subsidiary is also known for its large advertising budget. Over the years, the company has introduced many of the best insurance mascots and characters, including the caveman and Maxwell the pig.
2. Flo – Progressive
Flo, Progressive’s energetic and friendly white-apron salesman, ranks second for popularity and fifth for likeability. Played by actress and comedian Stephanie Courtney, Flo has appeared in more than 100 of the company’s commercials, often featuring hilarious situations involving her quirky co-workers. She is equally popular on social media with a huge Twitter following and more than five million Facebook likes.
Here’s their first commercial from 2008 called Checkout, which also marked the start of Progressive’s Superstore campaign. And yes, she says “Wow!” louder than any customer can.
3. The Aflac Duck – Aflac
Is it just me or does Aflac sound silly similar to the sound of a duck? Apparently it does, because that’s exactly what Aflac’s insurance mascot, the Aflac Duck — yes, that’s her real name — has been blabbing about for the last 20 years. Introduced in 2000, the Aflac duck has been a recognizable character in many of the company’s hilarious commercials.
Voiced by the late comedian Gilbert Gottfried, the Aflac duck has kept viewers laughing by performing fun activities like dancing, performing magic tricks, covering holes in a canoe, and even trying out different yoga poses, all while also displaying her signature ” Aflak!” screeched. ” The Aflac duck shares fifth place with Flo in the popularity rating. Here’s the ad that started it all for our adorable fowl.
4. Jamie – Progressive
Flo’s pal Jamie ranks in the top half of our list despite coming last in terms of likeability, but hey, 52% is still a positive rating that reflects the important role the best insurance mascots play in improving brand loyalty . Played by actor Jim Cashman, Jamie, along with Flo, their commercials have helped generate millions, if not billions, in progressive revenue. A real cash man indeed. Here Jamie shows why he is a legend himself.
Liberty Mutual’s unpredictable emu named Limu and his ’70s throwback sidekick Doug (yes, he’s the sidekick), played by actor David Hoffman, are relatively new to the insurance advertising industry, debuting in 2019. But the duo still ranks in in the top half of the list, despite ranking his popularity just a notch above Progressive’s Jamie.
In her ads, Doug explains to clients the benefits of the mutual’s policies, such as “tailored coverage so you only pay for what you need,” while the seemingly clueless Limu Emu does, well, very emu things. The campaign was hugely successful, prompting the company to start selling emu-themed goods in its online store. Here’s one of the dynamic duo’s commercials.
State Farm’s Jake comes second in likability, and why not? Everyone likes a good neighbor. The affable Jake is currently portrayed by actor Kevin Miles, although he is not the original hero. Miles replaced the original Jake in 2020 (more on that later) and has since collaborated with celebrities and athletes like Drake, Chris Paul and Patrick Mahomes in his entertaining campaigns.
In his commercials, Jake often explains the benefits of State Farm’s policy by wearing his signature red top and khakis and saying, “State Farm is like a good neighbor there.” Here, Jake takes a word or two to his “deputy” Drake assisted in the sale of state farm insurance.
Actor Dean Winters is Chaos personified in the Allstate commercial series Mayhem. While his popularity may have been hampered by his hiatus of more than a year, Mayhem remains popular with insurance buyers and boasts one of the highest popularity ratings.
In the commercial, voiced by Dennis Haysbert, Winters details the various things that can go wrong in your day-to-day life and what could happen if you don’t have backup. His comedic portrayal makes him one of the best insurance mascots of all time.
Here’s one of his more recent commercials called “Hashtag Challenge” and I have to admit if I had seen someone on the street doing those dance moves I probably would have stared too – even if it was against #commonsense.
8. The Original Jake – State Farm
The original Jake from State Farm was actually one of the insurance company’s employees, named Jake Stone. And just like real people, there are times when you need to start looking for better opportunities. Nonetheless, the original Jake continues to garner a loyal following and still maintains its place among the top insurance mascots. Here’s something to evoke a bit of nostalgia.
9. Professor Burke – Farmers
Farmers is known for its humorous informational campaigns, which showcase some of the craziest and weirdest insurance claims the company has received over the years and offer tips on how to prevent them. And Professor Burke, played by actor JK Simmons, is the perfect character for the job.
Professor Burke exudes an aura of wisdom and experience for the Farmers brand. This makes him a reliable point of contact for company policies as well as for sharing various loss prevention strategies. Here the professor explains the benefits of Farmer’s home insurance.
10.Dr. Rick- Progressive
Despite being a relatively new character, Dr. Progressive’s Rick cracked our top 10 list, thanks to Bill Glass’ comic portrayal of a hard-bitten self-guru helping homeowners — obviously Millennials and Generation Xers — not to adopt their parents’ behavior after buying a home. Among the hilarious situations featured in his ads are a homeowner helping an annoyed plumber fix his pipe and another who put too many pillows on the sofa, leaving no room to sit.
In support of the campaign, Progressive released a comedic guide in 2021 entitled Dr. Rick Will See You Now, which is said to have been written by the doctor himself. here is dr Rick trying to build trust with a new homeowner who is obsessed with cleaning out his trash cans.
For this list, we obtained our numbers from a survey conducted by The Harris Poll and Advertising Age of a nationwide representative of a sample of over a thousand US adults in January 2022. You can view the full survey results here.
Here’s a summary of our ranking of the top 10 insurance mascots:
New Jersey-based mutual insurer NJM Insurance has earned a reputation for offering “just great insurance” without the use of mascots (they didn’t hire the narwhal) or repetitive jingles. That doesn’t mean they don’t get submissions like these gems though:
What you may have noticed about the characters on our list of the best insurance mascots is that while they all use humor to get their message across, they also have different qualities that make them stand out and stick in your mind.
This is exactly why these iconic characters were created. In a highly competitive market like insurance, companies invest huge budgets in developing the best insurance mascots to increase brand awareness. The aim is to get customers to think of their brand first when deciding to take out insurance. And since insurance is an intangible product, these mascots and characters play a crucial role in making products more tangible.
What do you think of the best insurance mascots on the list? Did we miss something? Chat with us in the comments section below.
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