Maybe it’s something about quarterbacks and insurance; the fact they need more on the field is one thing, but the fact that their low key personalities tend to make them good brand ambassadors is probably more important. Aaron Rodgers discount double check campaign for State Farm was and continues to be a huge hit, as it showed a side of the Packers star that was just really being known by the casual fan; self-deprecating, dry sense of humor and the ability to deliver a line as well as he can a pass.
Along with Rodgers, both of the Manning brothers have been no slouch in the endorsement space. Their choices have been well timed and well picked, just like their play. But one of the bigger winners this year for either Peyton of the Broncos or Eli of the Giants has been the senior Manning’s work with Nationwide Insurance. Manning’s recitation of the Nationwide “Jingle” has been one pf the most sticky campaigns the company has ever had, combining their well-known theme that millions can recite with one of America’s most high-profile and recognizable athletes. Manning’s work has had more than 20 million organic social media impressions on Facebook and Twitter, with the number growing every day.
However what made the campaign golden was Manning’s off-play line of “Chicken Parm you taste so good.” The little extra got the brand some even extra play amongst Manning’s teammates and both local and national media, who played along with the line and the outtakes beyond what the brand had ever envisioned. The line, and Manning’s delivery, has actually become more of the story, much like all of Rodgers antics and the other celebrities that have been brought in to his campaign for State Farm over the past few years.
So how does Nationwide capitalize immediately on the “Chicken Parm” opportunity? Feed em. On December 28 at Invesco Field, Nationwide will give out thousands of free Chicken Parm sliders to any fan that sings the Nationwide jingle, with fans being encouraged to come up with their own creative lyrics. Additionally, Nationwide is also distributing 40,000 free orange t-shirts with that magic phrase to fans who, assuming the weather cooperates, will fill the already orange-clad stadium with yet more viral branding opportunities. Naturally the company will capture the best clips and outtakes to share on social, and maybe, just maybe, can get a critique of some from the Broncos quarterback himself as Denver heads for the playoffs.
The insurance business nationally is a competitive as it gets, and brands are in a constant battle to gain both market share and name recognition, with sports being a key target for the most elite brands. While spending millions in traditional marketing helps, creativity gets the added boost, and when you can take creative and amplify it with a smart promotion, you can sometime catch lightning in a bottle. So far Nationwide has scored with Manning, now it will be interesting to see if the latest onsite activation will amp up not just coverage, but brand recognition for the Denver faithful, both in Colorado and in the social space.
Smart, quick play by Nationwide. We will watch with great interest how the campaign grows even further from here.