Allstate Refreshes Brand Tagline for Younger Audience

Spokesman Dennis Haysbert Takes Backseat Role to New Celebs Tim Gunn, Leslie Jones

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Allstate's new campaign stars Adam Devine.
Allstate's new campaign stars Adam Devine. Credit: Allstate
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Just being in good hands isn't enough for Allstate Insurance Co. The insurer wants consumers to know that it's actually a good thing to be in those hands.

The Northbrook, Ill.-based brand is refreshing its tagline of more than 60 years by rolling out a new campaign: "It's good to be IN Good Hands." The change is meant to modernize the 85-year-old brand for a new wave of younger-minded consumers and will be buttressed by a series of TV spots featuring celebrities including Tim Gunn, Adam DeVine and Leslie Jones, all of whom are popular with the millennial set.

"We're redefining what it really means to be in good hands," said Sanjay Gupta, exec VP-marketing, innovation and corporate relations, in a statement, noting that the branding change is a reflection of a transformation within the insurance company. "We're taking all of the best attributes of our iconic brand and completely modernizing it with a fresh and dramatic new look and feel, provocative and fun celebrity talent, and a clear and contemporary message."

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The new campaign includes four 30-second spots. In one, Mr. DeVine, of "Workaholics" fame, pays a visit to the spa and partakes in a massage, facial, manicure and chest wax. He notes that being in good hands is "like finding new ways to get taken care of." Another spot features Ms. Jones, who will star in the rebooted "Ghostbusters" this summer, referencing car insurance.

Both conclude with the new tagline voiced by Dennis Haysbert. Mr. Haysbert has been a spokesman for Allstate since 2003, but is taking a backseat by solely voicing, rather than starring in, the current campaign.

Leo Burnett worked on the campaign.

"Allstate is transforming insurance from this invisible thing you have to this awesome thing you actually want to be a part of," said Charley Wickman, exec VP and exec creative director at Leo Burnett Chicago, noting that the brand is using innovative ways to protect and reward people in an industry where consumers are often ambivalent. "Fresh design and a new voice delivered in a contemporary, digitally-led platform actually invites people to experience for themselves why it's good to be in good hands."

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The new ads began airing Thursday and will run through the remainder of the year. Allstate, which services more than 16 million households and has total assets of $104.7 billion, plans to support the campaign with social media, digital video and display and streaming radio. The company, which also owns the Esurance brand, will continue to market its "Mayhem" campaign, a six-year-old effort created by Leo Burnett that stars Dean Winters.

"As we have done in the past, we continue to use multiple personalities in our advertising to convey different messages and meet specific objectives," said an Allstate spokeswoman by email.

Marketing experts familiar with the now-crowded insurance industry have applauded Allstate's previous ability to balance the more creative message of Mayhem with the reassuring credibility of Mr. Haysbert, who is typically seen as a likeable and trustworthy person. By tapping comedians like Ms. Jones in its new campaign, Allstate is switching up that strategy at a time when it's facing rising competition from other brands.

While rival Progressive has remained with Flo -- its spokeswoman of nearly a decade -- who appeared in a recent spot with the Kool-Aid Man, and Geico has explored a host of campaigns pushing its budget-friendly offers, State Farm is exploring a brand refresh by tapping a new agency with DDB Chicago.

Allstate, which recently reported first-quarter revenue of $8.9 billion, a 1% drop over the year-earlier period, declined to specify how much it is spending on its new marketing. The insurer spent $407.4 million on measured media in the U.S. for its namesake brand last year, according to Kantar Media.

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