The relationship between the appeal of a product and the media used to promote it is often inversely proportional; the less interesting the product, the more captivating its adverts need to be. No product category demonstrates this quite as neatly as insurance, which, despite its dry nature, is responsible for a plethora of highly entertaining commercials. In the end, let’s get to insurance explainer video and why that could be better in this digital age we currently thrive in.

The most popular insurance commercials elicit a range of emotions, which include fear, trust, camaraderie and confidence in a decision well made, and successful insurance companies spend a huge amount of time and money crafting their message. Whether you are creating a high budget live action commercial or a 60 second insurance explainer video, there are many lessons to be learned from the success of the insurance industry’s best loved commercials.

Creating a compelling story

The most successful commercials tend to be story driven, and some are so popular that the characters within them can end up gaining their own following and becoming household names. A classic example of this phenomenon comes from a UK based insurance comparison site called Compare The Market, who created one of the most popular advertising campaigns in history. Showcasing the adventures of an oddball meerkat family, the Compare The Meerkat saga entertained audiences for five years, spawned a line of sought-after plushies, and even managed to get their catchphrase into the Collins English Dictionary.

Making us feel ok about fear

We all worry that our lives will be disrupted by unexpected events, whether they be minor inconveniences or full-scale disasters. While most of these fears fall under the heading of common sense, we still like being reassured that they are not only justified, but shared with many other rational, like minded people. It’s perfectly normal to worry that a hurricane might blow your roof away, or that your two year old daughter might redecorate the kitchen with a Sharpie, and if this did happen it would just be one of those things rather than proof that you are in any way failing at life.

This entertaining commercial from Liberty Mutual Insurance makes light of human error, reassuring potential customers that having a solid insurance policy to back you up can make misfortune a little easier to laugh at.

Offering exclusivity and reducing risk

People take out insurance to minimise risk, and car insurance is a classic example. Showing your customers that you avoid taking risks not only reassures them that you will handle their own affairs in a sensible manner, it also offers them the assurance that they won’t be paying for other people’s mistakes. Many successful insurance companies avoid insuring certain groups of people to keep policy costs down, and, in doing so, make their customers feel as though they are part of an exclusive club.

One of the best examples of risk-avoiding reassurance comes from the Australian advertising campaign for car insurance company Budget Direct, featuring the unfortunate adventures of the hapless Captain Risky.

Budget Direct are not the only insurers to highlight the risk-reducing nature of a metaphorical velvet rope; advertisers have been targeting specific low risk groups and making them feel good about themselves for years.

Protecting against the inevitable

Two years before Captain Risky first strapped on his jetpack, US insurance agents Allstate played on the fears of the world’s largest group of risk takers: parents. By taking a cynical potshot at the highly distracted nature of modern teenage drivers, the showed parents that they understood that not only did they worry about the safety of their children; they also feared the impact their kids can have on their car insurance premiums.

Offering good explanations

Insurance is often confusing. Offering a short, simple explanation not only demonstrates your knowledge of the field, it empowers potential customers, reassures them that they are capable of making wise decisions, and helps them to feel that they have a better understanding of your products and services. People tend to distrust things they don’t understand and dislike being bamboozled, so it’s important to simplify without being patronizing.

Sharing dreams and hopes

Dreams can be even more powerful and inspiring than fears. Showing customers that you understand their aspirations, support their dreams and have the power to protect their futures can encourage them to take the risks you hope to assess and insure against in the first place. Successful insurance commercials can inspire people to spread their wings, safe in the knowledge that they have a secure safety net beneath them should they fall.

In 2014, TVC Thai Life Insurance warmed hearts around the world with ‘Unsung Hero’, a moving commercial about a kindhearted stranger who changed the word through a series of small, supportive acts.

Delivering a carefully crafted message

Well known insurers use a range of delivery techniques to impart their message. WIth some notable exceptions, most commercials are brief and to the point, delivering their message as simply and concisely as possible. While this is partly due to the restrictive cost of TV airtime, keeping things short is also a great way to hold your audience’s attention.

Scripted lines and voiceovers tend to be delivered in a calm, clear voice, which engenders trust and confidence. Any humor used is generally careful and precise, and simple physical comedy is often used. This demonstrative methodology doesn’t just get the message across quickly – it also triggers an emotional response. Watching someone do something that you could see yourself doing or experiencing something that you are familiar with causes memory neurons to fire, making you more likely to feel an emotional connection.

Video creation on a budget: Enter the insurance explainer video

The large scale production budgets of modern advertising classics may be far beyond the reach of smaller startups, but the themes within them are not. Commissioning an animated insurance explainer video to reach a new audience.is far less expensive than filming a live action commercial, and can easily be translated into multiple languages. Trying out the insurance explainer video medium can also be much faster and simpler to produce, which allows for changes or updates to be made further down the road.