The new year has just arrived and Policygenius isn’t wasting any time with its marketing. It’s just launched a new ad campaign emphasizing how 2020 has been the focus of endless sci-fi and tech predictions.
But, as the ads show by displaying the 1960s era futuristic predictions of flying cars and teleportation, human beings typically get the future wrong. Given our poor forecasting ability, the ad campaign recommends buying insurance.
The creative comes from Policygenius’ mainly in-house creative team — a trend embraced by big brands like Verizon, Unilever, and Sprint in recent years. Ads will take over 500 half-subway cars and digital panels on platforms in NYC, and will run until the end of January 2020.
This isn’t the first time the insurance marketplace has targeted subway riders. In 2018, Policygenius took over the usual poetry public service ads running for years on the New York City subway. The campaign divided riders — some loved it, others didn’t — but it was responsible for growing the customer base by 50 percent in the markets it ran, according to the company. Assets will also appear on social media and used in podcasts.
Tearsheet spoke with John Downing, creative director at Policygenius, about the campaign.
Where did the idea for the campaign come from?
Having the right insurance is important because the future is impossible to predict. And if there’s one year we’ve been mispredicting for decades, it’s 2020. That was where the inspiration for this year’s out-of-home campaign came from: We’ll always get the future wrong, so it’s important to get insurance right. Policygenius is ringing in the new year with a NYC subway campaign highlighting some of the advancements that were supposed to exist by 2020, but don’t.
What does the Policygenius brand represent? What message were you trying to communicate?
Policygenius is a digital marketplace that helps people shop for all their insurance needs in one place, getting people the coverage they need and helping them feel good about it. By getting insurance right, you’re prepared for the things you can’t predict.
What are the biggest challenges for a growing fintech to run OOH campaigns?
For any growing brand, the biggest challenge is capturing people’s attention. As the fintech space becomes more crowded, it’s increasingly important for Policygenius to stand out. The NYC subway, home to this year’s out-of-home campaign, provides a unique opportunity: People spend more time looking at subway ads than highway billboards, and New Yorkers want to look at anything but each other on their commutes.
What are you looking at for KPIs to determine whether the campaign ‘worked’?
January tends to be a big month for insurance companies because it’s a time when most people are making New Year’s resolutions and getting their finances in order. Our goal for this campaign is to raise awareness of the Policygenius brand and let them know we will take care of their insurance needs no matter what the future holds.
Why choose in-house vs. working with an agency?
The decision to build an in-house team rather than engage an agency was simple. We wanted our team to live and breathe our company culture, have a deep understanding of Policygenius customers and their needs, and to bring that insight to every touchpoint of the Policygenius experience.