Can an insurance company use crowdsourcing to take a function typically performed by an ad agency and outsource it to an undefined (and fairly large) network of people in the form of an open call? And can it do all that without a Goat 4 Sale, a Fashionista Daddy, a bag of Doritos, or having to Crash the Super Bowl?
Founded in 1993, SafeAuto Insurance Company is a property and casualty insurance carrier focused on auto insurance and based in Columbus, Ohio. Today, the company provides the state minimum insurance coverage to automobile drivers in 16 states including: Arizona, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia.
SafeAuto created its YouTube channel, Legal For Less, on June 17, 2008. It’s the online home of the company’s commercials, including SafeAuto Insurance Commercial - Norm Macdonald – Rascals.
On Jan. 2, 2013, SafeAuto held an open casting call to find the stars of its next ad campaign. Whether it’s a person or a group, each contestant is to re-create, re-interpret or re-invent the SafeAuto Jingle. For more information, visit ‘Do the Jingle’.
Jason Parks, Emerging Media/Video Specialist at SafeAuto, says, “We’ve been using YouTube for multiple purposes as of late. Our 'Do The Jingle' contest is a nationwide competition where we look for a musician or band to come up with a new SafeAuto jingle. The winner receives $5,000 and gets to appear in a SafeAuto commercial.
Mike Cottrill, Senior Programmer Analyst added, “We have musicians submit their own videos and upload the videos that we shoot ourselves (all through YouTube). The contest generates millions of online votes and helps us with web traffic and publicity. The exciting aspect of this contest is that the winner is determined by online votes so the online community gets to dictate who our next commercial star will be.”
“We also put all of our commercials on YouTube and we've been using YouTube to evaluate the user experience in regards to our thirty second spots,” stated Allen Butler, Senior Programmer Analyst. “This has helped measure the effectiveness of the different spots in a campaign.”
I asked several follow-up questions and got answers from Butler (AB), Cottrill (MC), and Parks (JP). Here are my questions and their answers:
GJ: Who is your target audience? Are you trying to reach particular demographics, geographic areas, interest categories, topics, keywords, or videos and channels?
AB: Our target audience for DoTheJingle is really based on locality and their social reach. We do try to limit our efforts to be within SafeAuto’s footprint states but the goal of the contest is designed to spread our reach and brand using social media and SEO techniques.
When it comes to paid advertising on YouTube, we have more of a refined method for who will see the videos. When it comes to organic, our focus is on keywords and links that will make our videos more visible.
GJ: What is the process that you go through to produce and optimize videos that you create for your YouTube channel? What is the process for videos produced by Do The Jingle contestants.
JP: Our YouTube channel has over 1 million views, which is very exciting. Each time a new spot is produced, we obtain the footage from the production house and post the content on YouTube simultaneously for when each commercial will hit the rotation on TV. Placing the proper keywords on each video, promoting the spots on the homepage of our website and showing off the content to our social media following has enabled us get a lot of views, especially for an auto insurance company, in a relatively short time span.
Regarding ‘Do The Jingle,’ we create a separate YouTube channel for the contest each year since we receive so many entries. We make sure that the winning commercial spot is placed on our official YouTube channel. The winning video, which is turned into a professionally produced commercial, tends to be one the more popular spots on our YouTube channel in terms of views.
GJ: Where and when do you promote your "Do The Jingle" contest -- online and offline? Do you promote your contest across your sites and social networks, get them featured on blogs, and show off your winners in print and in your store or office?
MC: Our initial promotions were using TV, Online Ads and social media. However this site was engineered to be self-promoted once it is in full swing. This contest leverages the power of Social Media, Local Media (TV & Radio), SEO and your natural social engineering of human nature. We do not do any advertising once the contest is up and running and still get millions of votes thus the overall social engineering of the contest is extremely successful for both SafeAuto and the contestants.
We do post articles about our ‘Do The Jingle’ contestants on our blog throughout the duration of the contest. Each musician has such an interesting back-story, which provides us with amazing content. This is an online contest at heart so we stay away from print. The associates at our office are definitely aware of the winners and are always providing feedback on their favorite jingles. When you walk in the doors at SafeAuto, we have our most recent commercials on a large television for visitors to see. Once the ‘Do The Jingle’ commercial has hit the rotation, this spot is extremely visible for quite some time.
GJ: Why do you think musicians submit videos to your contest? Is it just the prize and recognition from the online community – or do you think they hope to be "discovered" by a record label?
MC: We feel that musicians enter this contest for multiple reasons, the money, exposure and hoping to be discovered. This is proven by the publicity our contestants have received from their local media and the interviews that came from those TV stations. Many of the musicians ask us if they can put on their resume that they created a jingle for SafeAuto. Our answer is always yes! Once we put their jingle on our official ‘Do The Jingle’ website, they have played a role in helping promote our brand. If they want to leverage their music careers by promoting their SafeAuto jingle, we think that is awesome!
GJ: How has putting all of your commercials on YouTube and using YouTube Analytics to evaluate the user experience helped you measure the effectiveness of the different spots in a campaign?
JP: We’ve taken both an organic and paid approach to help measure the effectiveness of our different spots on YouTube. Organically, the users determine whether a video is successful based on the view count, interaction and the number of different sites where the video has been embedded. From a paid standpoint, we’ve developed a process where we can use YouTube analytics to make marketing decisions for each commercial.