Insurance Marketing HQ

Nationwide has World’s Greatest Spokesperson in the World, and Armpit Jingles

Posted on Mar 11, 2010

While many insurance agencies are playing catch-up  in their social media efforts, the country’s biggest insurance providers are running programs to provide inspiration and content that agency partners can share and learn from to boost their own insurance marketing efforts. To highlight the initiatives, IMHQ is breaking down the social media endeavors of the major  insurers, focusing on what agencies can learn and leverage for their own good.

Today, we take a peek under the hood of Nationwide Insurance to see how they are, “..on our side,” with the help of social media.

Nationwide's The World's Greatest Spokesperson in the worldThe biggest campaign Nationwide has going right now is, The World’s Greatest Spokesperson in the World (WGS), which is supported by TV ads, a dedicated splash pageTwitter account, Facebook Fan page and a Youtube channel all sharing TWG’s latest entertaining exploits. At a time when hyperbolic overstatement  is all the rage in advertising, Nationwide seems to have struck a chord.

The choice of a generic looking (as in not animated or Cro-magnon), non-celebrity as the spokesperson is a curious decision, but one that allows Nationwide to show off a humorous, human and creative side without selling out its brand. The campaign is special because the WGS actually interacts with fellow Nationwide employees and fans in his uniquely self-important demeanor, making them feel like part of the campaign.

I found the armpit version of the Nationwide jingle, alphabet soup trick and the WGS statement, “My words are worth a thousand pictures,” to be quite humorous. There’s also a handful of 70’s and 80’s mock-movie clips showing a mustachioed WGS in roles that prepared him for his comeback as WGS. And of course, he’s always available to promote programs such as Nationwide’s new Vanishing Deductible, which rewards good drivers.

Speaking about the campaign, Steven Schreibman, vice president of advertising and brand management for Nationwide said,

Nationwide is outspent by most of our competitors, so this campaign will leverage on-line and viral media in a huge way to give fans a chance to learn more about our legendary pitchman and hopefully build a dialogue with Nationwide about how our personalized customer service can make their insurance experience better. The World’s Greatest Spokesperson in the World will be an advocate for consumers, listening to the things about insurance that frustrate them, and then challenging Nationwide to address these concerns.”

Aside from the WGS campaign, Nationwide has a healthy and dedicated following across the social web. Their choice to accept and respond to criticisms on the Facebook fan page shows they are transparent in their use of social media and not trying to force feed messages while ignoring feedback.

Nationwide’s social media program goes deeper but two other areas of focus are the strong partnership with NASCAR and an iPhone app called Cartopia which helps people, “Make car shopping a little easier and fender benders a little less of a hassle.”

If your agency is affiliated with Nationwide, they’ve provided some compelling content for you to build off of. The insurance provider is breathing humor into insurance and my guess would be they’re hoping some of their own agents will adopt the World’s Greatest Spokesperson’s  mentality and become the World’s Greatest Insurance Agents.


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