The financial services company is dropping the last two words from its name, Nationwide Insurance Enterprise.
Consumer research found "Enterprise" to be too "cold and impersonal," said R. Steven Johnston, VP-advertising and brand management. And "Insurance" understated the financial and investment services Nationwide now offers, he added.
AD IN EIGHT MARKETS
The company announced its fresh face last week, with a newspaper ad that appeared in eight major Nationwide markets. The new identity also will begin to appear in direct marketing materials from in-house direct marketing shop Nationwide Direct, Portland, Ore., and on its new Web site (www.nationwide.com).
The newspaper ads offer a sneak preview of the company's new ad effort coming this September. Agency Temerlin McLain, Irving, Texas, created the current print ads and will direct Nationwide's first national TV advertising.
'ON YOUR SIDE'
The campaign will break on network and broadcast cable and is expected to retain the tagline "Nationwide is on your side" and the seven-note musical signature that has closed Nationwide's ads for 45 years.
"There's some power and some intrinsic value we don't dare walk away from," Mr. Johnston said.
In almost every focus group the company conducted, someone could sing the jingle -- a notable achievement considering Nationwide hasn't had a presence west of the Mississippi before and hasn't advertised in the Western states, he said.
Nationwide now has a presence from coast to coast, thanks to an acquisition binge that scooped up insurers such as Allied, CalFarm and PanEuro Life.
Since 1993, the company has grown from a privately held concern with $42 billion in assets to a public one with $100 billion in assets.
The main thrust for the new look was consumer attitudes, which Nationwide began to research even before it hired Temerlin McClain in January 1998, Mr. Johnston said.
The research revealed that customers thought of insurance companies as "impersonal and unapproachable." It also found that consumers were aching for personalized solutions to their questions, he said.
The new ads will show actors portraying realistic situations, including a variety of people and lifestyles, and explain how Nationwide can help, said Mr. Johnston.
"It's a change in how we talk to the customer," he said. "As opposed to us