Past Winner Example: Allstate

Award Level: Bronze Award
Product/Service Category: 38.0 Insurance: General/ Miscellaneous
Client: Allstate Insurance Company
Agency: OgilvyOne Worldwide
Target Audience: Consumer
Product or Service: The product is auto insurance.
Definition of Audience: Consumers in shopping mode who are comfortable shopping and buying online.
Through proprietary research, Allstate learned that these online shoppers:
  • Shop several different providers and packages.
  • Want quick, painless estimates based on their individual needs.
  • Do not want to be sold; they want information and transparency around the process.
  • Differ in the level of hand-holding they require – some need advice and information to help them make decisions; others are confident shopping unaided.
Most importantly, these people don't want to be contacted by the insurance company while they're shopping; they prefer to remain anonymous..

Target Audience Size: 1,000,000+
Country Where Campaign Ran: USA

Date Campaign Ran: March 5, 2007 – present

Marketplace Challenge:
The auto insurance industry has gone through a massive shift toward shopping and buying online. The number of consumers visiting an insurance Web site increased more than 200% to 31 million people between Q1 2004 and Q4 2006. The number of policies purchased online grew 58% per year. 65% of consumers now say they would consider buying their next policy online. Even those who go on to buy from an agent or over the phone do the majority of their shopping online.

Developing this new online channel is critical to future sales growth, including agent sales. Allstate needs to compete successfully online. The competition is stiff, as direct sales companies have historically focused on developing and refining their online quote/sales processes. By contrast, Allstate's focus on direct sales is relatively new.

In fact, in 2006, 79% of online auto insurance quotes were via Geico, Progressive, or eSurance. During the same period, Allstate claimed a significantly smaller percentage of online quote activity.
The Challenge: Grow the direct business by providing an online shopping experience that is differentiated from the competition and better meets consumers' needs than existing quoting tools..
Marketing Strategy:
Allstate's key online competitors (Geico, Progressive and eSurance) position themselves as fast and easy. In some instances they even provide the ability to comparison shop. But they all fail to address the key consumer insight that many prospects don't want to be contacted when they are just beginning to shop and so are reluctant to provide personal information like name, e-mail address, social security number, etc. They do not want to be marketed to as a result of their inquiry. They really do want a good idea of what they might pay for auto insurance in order to get their desired coverage. Allstate identified this unmet need and set out to provide a solution.
The first step was to create a new and innovative way to shop and deliver quotes; one that was:
  • Anonymous (No personal information required!)
  • Fast and easy
  • Helpful (Accurate)
  • Contemporary
  • Intuitive
Once this breakthrough, new quoting tool was created, Allstate needed to get the word out. An integrated campaign was implemented, utilizing DRTV, online banner ads, paid search, and DM; all focused on the benefits of the new tool for online shoppers who wanted to keep their anonymity while getting a quick but solid ballpark estimate.
Since this tool was an exciting new initiative for Allstate, and one with a new look and feel, a concerted effort was made to leverage Allstate's established brand messaging. Advertising needed to break away just enough to signal something new in order to provoke attention and excitement in the direct channel.
Marketing Tactics:
The new anonymous quote tool was the centerpiece of the program. Once it went live on the site, DRTV, paid search, and online advertising campaigns were implemented in order to drive traffic to it. The DRTV campaign used a unique URL, "" for tracking purposes. Online banner ads linked directly to the site so visitors could be tracked through initiation and completion of a quote.
The Program Objective: Develop and market a category-unique online shopping/quoting tool and introduce it to consumers in a way that cost-effectively invites greater shopping/quoting in the direct channel. 
Creative Strategy:
The creative, based on a key consumer insight, demonstrates that now one car insurance company has overhauled its quoting process to better serve online shoppers, most significantly by allowing them to remain completely anonymous.

DRTV uses actor Dennis Haysbert and the "Our Stand" campaign format to increase brand recognition, then shows the tool in use. The spot emphasizes the value of anonymity through a "what if"analogy asking what if other purchases demanded as much personal information as some insurance companies do. Importantly, it draws on familiar Allstate cues but quickly moves to focus on the highly differentiated anonymous quote tool seen in action throughout the balance of the commercial.
Online banner advertising creates intrigue around the idea of anonymity. Banners intentionally break from the formats established in previous Allstate online communications in an effort to draw shoppers who might not have previously considered Allstate because they didn't consider Allstate to be a real online player.
Benefit points included in the tool and communications supporting it:
  • Anonymous: Only the bare minimum of information is collected. Not even a name is required.
  • Fast and easy: Instead of the usual lengthy form, the new tool is an application (.netAjax) with an innovative pageless design for greater speed and usability. After you enter your zip code you never need to use the keyboard again; mouse-initiated sliders and drop-downs quickly capture the remaining information. 
  • Helpful (if the consumer wants it): Tool tips are available so shoppers who want help or more information just roll over icons to get it.
  • Contemporary: Overall, the application features a more web-savvy color palette and incorporates illustrated icons and design elements that give the tool an audience-appropriate look and feel.
  • Intuitive: Based on their information, shoppers are presented with an array of estimates in a matrix that allows them to compare different features and levels of coverage that meet their unique needs. And it provides a price for each option. The tool demonstrates throughout the ease with which consumers can obtain the customized price and coverage information they want. 
The new online shopping/quoting tool and the integrated campaign supporting it yielded the following strong results, respectively:
  • A 25% increase in the number of consumers who, after getting an anonymous ballpark estimate, went on to enter their personal information and get a full, customized quote.
  • 86% of consumers who started the quote process completed it – nearly double the completion rate with the old quoting tool. 
  • Radical reductions in key cost measures. Paid search advertising yielded a 99% lower cost-per-click than Allstate had been paying. Cost-per-quote from banner advertising was 66% lower than Allstate's previous campaign.
Although the call to action was a unique URL (, Allstate also experienced a 6% increase in average visits per week to - no small feat given that the site typically receives about 600,000 visits a week. 

Total Cost: Rollout $250,000-500,000