financial services

Farmers Insurance Introduces 'Dog Diving'

Just in time for the Rio Olympic Games, Farmers Insurance is launching a new TV spot and a video series where dogs show off their diving prowess. 

The company’s latest effort in its “We Know From Experience” campaign revolves around a Feb. 3, 2013 insurance claim in which some trouble-making dogs turned on the kitchen sink and flooded a home while their owners were away. 

A TV spot, “Mer-Mutts,” debuted during Aug 6 Olympics coverage. It portrays the house-flooding pups enjoying their new indoor pool with an orchestrated synchronized swimming routine that would make Esther Williams proud.

The “Mer-Mutts” claim also comes to life online and in social media through the Flooded House Dog Diving Competition, a canine diving contest held within the living room of the waterlogged house. On Aug. 10, a YouTube takeover will run a promo of the event, encouraging people to watch videos of each dog’s performance, complete with sportscaster commentary. 



RPA created both the TV spots and the Dog Diving Competition series.

The competition will also be released through Facebook with promoted video ads and carousel units. There will also be a 360 Facebook video of the dogs playing in the flooded house, as well as a petcam-style video in native placements and on the Farmers Hall of Claims Web site, which anchors the campaign.

“Additionally, we have been leveraging the “Mer-Mutts” content for earned media purposes that can be used by the Farmers internal social media team to expand reach of the campaign,” says Leesa Eichberger, head of brand marketing at Farmers Insurance.

As it turns out, the phenomenon of dogs flooding houses is more common than you might think, she says. 

“From the basis of that claim, and the thought about all the ways a dog might take advantage of a flooded home, the idea of a canine synchronized swimming theme was born,” Eichberger tells Marketing Daily. “Turns out, it’s not so easy to get dogs to execute artistic swimming moves as seen in the 'Mer-Mutts' TV spot, at least not without a lot of visual-effects work. But they are natural divers. With the amazing set of a flooded home and a group of talented dogs at our disposal, we knew that a diving competition off various pieces of home furnishings would be pretty great.”

A 15-second spot, “Bar-B-Clue” launched the campaign and tells the story of an ill-attended barbeque that set a house ablaze while the grill-master worked on a crossword puzzle. More advertising will be released throughout the fall around a whole host of other unbelievable-yet-true insurance claims.

“One important aspect of the campaign that we’ve found to be powerful with consumers is that all of these stories are based on true, real insurance-claim events,” Eichberger says. “Wherever possible, we reinforce that, even citing the date they happened. On the new exhibits we’re adding to the Hall of Claims Web site, we even have videos telling some of the claim stories from the perspective of the actual agent who covered them. So while the advertising takes some fun flights of fancy, it’s underpinned by truth.” 

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