ALEXANDRIA, Va., Jan. 16 - Trusted ChoiceSM further asserts itself as the consumer marketing brand of the agency system next month when its television commercials first hit the national airwaves on CNN, Headline News, MSNBC, CNBC and FOX News Channel.
Trusted ChoiceSM was developed by the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America (IIABA) and its company partners in response to extensive consumer research about the position of independent agents and brokers in the marketplace. Three television ads—one each for auto, home and business—will air across the country during a six-week advertising campaign from Feb. 3 to March 16. The spots will drive consumers to www.TrustedChoice.com where they can search for Trusted ChoiceSM agencies and companies in their local area.
“The initial thrust of this landmark national advertising campaign will highlight the benefits—choice, customization of policies and advocacy—Trusted ChoiceSM agencies provide consumers,” says IIABA CEO Bob Rusbuldt. “Through this campaign we will raise awareness among consumers of Trusted ChoiceSM agencies and the value they bring to the insurance-buying process as well as the advocacy role they fill on behalf of consumers. We also hope the campaign will entice other IIABA member agencies to join the branding initiative.”
Among the high-rated cable shows that will air the Trusted ChoiceSM commercials are CNN’s Crossfire and Larry King Live; MSNBC’s Hardball With Chris Matthews and CNBC’s News With Brian Williams.
“The onset of Trusted ChoiceSM television ads will inform consumers everywhere about why Trusted ChoiceSM agents adhere to the principle “We Serve You First” and provide them with the qualities they most value from an insurance provider,” says IIABA Executive Director for Trusted ChoiceSM and Vice President of Consumer Marketing Larry Acord. “Earlier pilot market advertising results surpassed everyone’s expectations, so our agents are energized about Trusted ChoiceSM and eager to connect with more consumers through this powerful new marketing brand.”
Trusted ChoiceSM pilot advertisements aired on televisions stations in Louisville and Seattle in spring 2002. After just four weeks, Trusted ChoiceSM measured a 4 percent awareness level among targeted households. Most new brands register awareness levels of just increments of a percent and typically involve longer pilot periods.
Many Trusted ChoiceSM agencies are planning local advertising campaigns that will run concurrently with the national campaign. They will use pre-produced Trusted ChoiceSM ads tagged with their agency information to be shown in their local market as complements to the ads airing nationally.
“Independent agents and brokers nationwide spend a collective $30 million to $40 million dollars a year on local advertising,” notes Rusbuldt. “Combine those promotional efforts with Trusted ChoiceSM and it is easy to see how the messages of choice and service epitomized by the independent agency system will come to resonate more and more with consumers as the branding program continues to grow.”
Six national insurers have joined Trusted ChoiceSM: Encompass Insurance, Kemper Insurance, MetLife Auto & Home, Progressive, SAFECO and The Hartford.
Eleven regional companies are Trusted ChoiceSM partners: California Insurance Group, Cascade National Insurance, Central Insurance Companies, Kentucky National Insurance, Main Street America Group, Merchants Insurance Group, National Security Fire & Casualty, Ohio Casualty Insurance, Rutgers Casualty Insurance, Selective Insurance Group and Summit Insurance (R.I.). Also, InsurBanc, a federal thrift bank created by IIABA, is a Trusted ChoiceSM strategic partner.
Trusted ChoiceSM is the consumer marketing identity for nearly 3,000 participating independent insurance agencies and brokerages and their branch locations. These firms offer a choice of insurance companies and policies, customization of policy coverage and advocacy. Founded in 1896, IIABA is the nation’s oldest and most respected agent and broker association.