Ad Nauseum

Posted: Tuesday, March 31, 2009 at 12:00 am
By: Doug Lund
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I’ll be the first to admit that I know little or nothing about insurance..other than I’m required by law to have some of it on my house and car.
To me, insurance salesmen have always ranked right up there with Jehovah Witnesses on my “duck around the corner when I seem ‘em coming list.”  I don’t like high pressure sales pitches whether it is to ponder the after life or to purchase whole life.
Selling insurance used to be pretty serious business. Remember Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom TV show and host Marlin Perkins’ sneaky segues from the show into commercials? “Just as the mother hippo protects her young from ravenous hyenas, you can protect your children with a policy from Mutual of Omaha.”
These days, insurance companies are trying a whole new tack: instead of using TV spots that put the fear of god into you by showing disasters and the woe that befalls the uninsured, they’re appealing to your sense of humor and frugality using lizards, ducks, cavemen and an energetic gal named Flo (wearing a tricked out name tag and enough make-up to make Tammy Fay roll over in her grave) as pitchmen.And they’re on ALL THE TIME..day and night..on every channel. It’s not only on television either.  These companies are major sponsors of sporting events from auto racing and ball games to synchronized swimming.
For the life of me, I don’t understand how..when most corporations are crumbling under the weight of the recession, these folks appear to have vaults the size of swimming pools filled with cash to spend on advertising.  I guess they must know what they’re doing but I better not ever see Flo or the white duck or the green little Gecko come crawling on their wings and knees asking for a government bailout.

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