June 10, 2006

speaks to me

Liberty Mutual has a new ad campaign that is making some waves. They have decided to own the value of responsibility - a smart and timely move in our world today. Like any good campaign, it isn't just that they chose the right message, its that they were able to communicate it effectively through imagery, music and all of the other tools we use in our business.

While the agency who created this speaks toward corporate responsibility, as I've seen this spot over and over again on cnn, what really speaks to me about it is a message of hope and personal interaction. I don't know whether it was intentional or not, but In a time where our leaders work to polarize us and I find myself quick to distrust those around me, the sense of community and the message that 'people are good' is an oddly strong one - and one I want to believe.

This campaign was done by the ad agency Hill Holliday, who I also discovered have a great blog of their own (or maybe just a commercial site cleverly disguised as a blog - either way, I like it - they even respond to comments.) I was also pleased to discover by browsing their site that they are responsible for the 2002 Budweiser spot called "Respect" that I wrote about on December 4th, probably one my all time favorite commercials.

The Liberty Mutual campaign includes print and web elements as well, although I believe the web elements counter their community message of the on-air by polarizing us again into different sides with its emphasis on surveys. The on-air spot, however, is beautiful. Its a story without narration that captures emotion and allow you to place yourself into the story. Even the clean logo animation at the end is boldly elegant. Unfortunately the logo it resolves to is anti-climactic, but such is the case when your client has a mediocre logo. What really makes the spot is the music. The singer is Sally Ellyson, lead singer of the band Hem. Her story is great too, but Hill Holliday tells it best - link to their site here:
  • Hill Holliday - Liberty Mutual campaign

  • Hill Holliday - on Sally Ellyson and Hem

  • Hill Holliday spot for Budweiser, "Respect", 2002

    Anonymous said...

    Thanks Jon for the post. Jereon Bours and I did the spot. We're pretty excited about the Liberty Mutual campaign. The hope is that as this thing goes forward, we can get a national conversation going on responsibility and I sure do think we need to have one. Interesting point you make about the surveys in the online stuff. Hadn't looked at it that way. I'm going to bring it up with the team. Again, thanks for the feedback.

    Unknown said...

    Wow! The creator of the spot finds my blog and comments on it - within hours of my posting it. Pretty amazing world we live in. If they are that responsive to strangers, can you imagine how well they must treat their clients? I'm impressed. And feel a little guilty now for criticizing the web side. Though - I still maintain that the positive 'pay it forward' feeling I get from the spots turns negative when asked online to choose between the SUV driver and the compact car driver. Suddenly everyone isn't good anymore. Maybe I could be forced to see the good of the SUV driver (or the compact car driver) instead?

    I still think the spot is making waves. A blogsearch turns up posts about it on a QUILTING blog even! When was the last time an insurance commercial ever got that kind of response?