The Right Image for an Insurance Co.

Among the myriad of auto insurance commercials on TV over the past few years, Geico and Allstate stick with me more than any of the others. For Geico, it’s the humorous non sequiturs that break you out of what was initially a clichéd TV moment. If you were to ask me where I’d go to save a bunch of money on my car insurance, my initial reaction would be the Gecko.

Allstate takes a completely different direction with their advertisements. Their spokesperson exudes confidence, reliability, safety, and talks about those aspects of the company — how little solutions can change the outcome of an accident, how you’ll always be treated like a real person — and you believe it, almost hoping that the actor himself were the agent you’d be dealing with.

Which one has the better campaign? Think about it this way: Allstate takes itself seriously; Geico takes nothing seriously. Which one would you want the next time you’re in a car accident?

Shopping Carts

Many supermarkets here in NJ have a common problem: outdoor cart retrieval. In other words, all the shopping carts are parked outside, and you have to grab one before you enter. Why is this a problem? Consider a customer who wants to make a quick purchase (milk, say), but while shopping decides to go ahead and get groceries for the rest of the week — he has to return the items (or stash them) and go outside (weather permitting) to grab a cart, walk back in, and start over. Or consider customers (like myself) who are unaccustomed to looking outside for carts; not exactly great customer service.

WorldCom competes with Enron for “biggest town idiot” award — why do I get the feeling these two companies are only the first in a very long line of corporate fraud?