Is ‘Little Gray Squirrel’ Advertising Believable?

The Chasers page of a recent issue of BtoB spotlights companies in the financial services sector and suggests how advertising can help restore their public respect and demonstrate empathy and humility to their audiences. Big business should look and act more like small business, they say.

One highlighted ad by the Unum Group shows a little gray squirrel saving nuts.

“Insurance companies are popular whipping boys these days,” says Chasers.

“So instead of an ad featuring imposing glass towers or stern-looking executives, Unum Group smartly builds its ad around a little gray squirrel, an animal noted for its ability to save, not squander its assets like there’s no tomorrow.”

But will most people think Unum Group (or insurance companies in general) is like a little gray squirrel after seeing the ad? Or will they think of Mr. Humph, Bob’s insurance company boss in the movie The Incredibles?

Advertising alone can’t fix an industry image problem.


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