We question the wisdom of the evolution of this campaign
Steve’s breakdown: Goodby has been getting a little cute with the Liberty Mutual campaign. It’s like they want to have fun like everyone else in the category but the client is only giving them a little wiggle room. How long will this dance go? You might as well get in there now to see how folks feel.
BOSTON, MA: You may have noticed that Liberty Mutual’s ongoing “Only Pay for What You Need” campaign–the one featuring regular folks standing in front of the Statue of Liberty talking about their various problems alleviated by the company’s services–just got super funny. As in, I’m watching the news and in the middle of all the hellfire going on in the world, these insurance ads that are not for Geico are making me laugh out loud kind of funny.
The brand just debuted its latest work from Goodby Silverstein and Partners, which took over the creative account from Havas in October last year. The old spots were mildly amusing at best–one juxtaposed scenes of a Liberty Mutual-insured mom and her irresponsible son with those of a less fortunate pair, stranded with a flat tire in the middle of the night. But arguably, they didn’t really do enough to make you look up from your oatmeal.
The new ads, however, insert just the right amount of absurdity into the old formula that the campaign feels almost totally new–or better than new–like when the high school nerd comes back as the hot person at reunion.
Instead of stock characters like harried moms, the campaign now features an anonymous man in witness protection, a fitness junkie who customizes everything (including his body parts) and a newscaster. And they’re just not talking heads–each spot features a moment of outrageousness that make those 15 seconds worth your while. While the quirky humor does seem to recall that of fellow insurer Geico, injected into Liberty Mutual’s established tableau with Lady Liberty featuring prominently in the background, it’s enough to distinguish the brand and bring its name into your head when you’re weighing your options on new insurance.
“The evolution we made was just to give those customers a little more color and let it be more overtly funny versus the traditional testimonial style,” says GSP Executive Creative Director David Suarez. “The clients were hungry for the work to be more breakthrough.’
The spots also benefited from the direction of Dummy’s Harold Einstein, known for bringing zany touches to brands like Little Caesars, on which Suarez and his partner Danny Gonzalez previously worked while at Barton F. Graf. “When these ideas sold he immediately came to mind,” Gonzalez says. “He’s the best in the business at taking seemingly simple scripts on paper and making the characters hilariously memorable.”