Shalom, Feng shui and Travelers insurance

I like humor and gimmicks in advertising, but I really appreciate integration.

Geico's cavemen are funny, but not integrated with insurance. They could have been mascots for Hyundai or Verizon Wireless or Sears just as easily - and successfully.

Geico's gecko is gimmicky but only because it's somewhat of a homophone of the company name. There's no true integration between a CG reptile and car insurance. It's just another mascot randomly associated with a product.

The new Travelers ad, however, is integrated. Travelers' "mascot" is their red umbrella logo and it not only stands out artistically in the TV spot called "Delivery," but memorably, too, because it complements the very idea of insurance. What else comes to mind when you hear "umbrella" except "protection"?

I like this kind of integration in advertising because it makes sense to me. The umbrella, the story line, the scenery, the sounds and language all connect with the product, like a living room whose various components work together to say "Welcome." Disintegration says nothing clearly because it's in pieces. Integration, on the other hand, weaves.

If I were in the market for insurance, Travelers would have won my attention with this spot. Not saying they would get me to sign on, but I'd certainly look them up.

Something to ponder:
Shalom is a biblical concept meaning peace between two entities (i.e. between God and me, between you and me, etc.). The Creation story starts with shalom at the heart of every relationship, but ends with shalom becoming disintegrated. Since that time, we spend our days looking for bits and pieces of shalom in the smallest of places.

Is this why feng shui became so popular? Is it why we hang out with certain people and not with others? Is it why we take vacations? Could it even be why I'm drawn to an insurance commercial that is, in a sense, at peace with itself?


L.L. Barkat July 8, 2008 at 8:16 PM  

Oh, I like how philosophical you've become simply from watching a commercial.

Yes, I think that's why we hang out with certain people. They pick up a little lost piece and hand it to us, and our soul finds a moment's rest, a taste of love.

Sam Van Eman July 10, 2008 at 8:38 AM  

Thanks for the compliment - and for the complement. Your poetic response goes nicely with what I was trying to say in this post.

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