On LiMu the Emu

Retirees have time to reflect on many weighty subjects; among those topics fleetingly at top of mind this week is the notion that Liberty Mutual Insurance Company (full disclosure: my long-time employer has had a close working relationship with Liberty Mutual for many years) has determined that a large swath of our people will be motivated to buy insurance from a carrier represented by a disheveled gentleman and a homely bird (LiMu Emu) (each wearing yellow shirts; the latter occasionally vomiting paper scraps on to a desk top).  Liberty Mutual is able, and its marketing research has presumably determined that younger consumers find the spots endearing.  My reaction to them reminds me that I am perhaps now a bit further from the Pepsi Generation than I am from  the Pepperidge Farm Generation :).

4 thoughts on “On LiMu the Emu

  1. Jim, this post made me laugh. I have spent too much time observing insurance company advertising. As an almost 40 year State Farm policyholder, I don’t really notice their advertising at all. All State goes with tried and true. Boring. GEICO is the pioneer (and best) of the funny/clever/quirky advertising genre. They constantly change up their campaigns. Some of the best are the cave man, famous singers (Bert Bacharach singing about “never get hit in the rear again” my favorite), and, of course, the gecko. Progressive has Flo and Jamie, and the talking Insurance Box. They’re moderately amusing to meh. Liberty Mutual started by trying to imply their coverage was somehow better. For example, their ads would show someone with another carrier’s coverage not having, for example, replacement coverage saying that if they had Liberty Mutual coverage and had replacement coverage, they would have been covered. The ads drove me crazy. If the hypothetical person had selected replacement coverage with the other carrier, he/she would have been covered, too. Very misleading and disingenuous. I hated them. Liberty Mutual had a whole series of ads in front of the Statue of Liberty. I was ticked off that the ads were misleading, grossed out (guy on bike with huge calves), bored (reporter), or confused (undercover guy jumping into New York harbor). LiMu Emu is the only series of ads I’ve slightly found amusing. As you mentioned, the Emu barfing up paper is mildly amusing.
    My only observation is that these insurance companies can’t talk about coverages without losing the interest of 99.9% of viewers, so they try clever or funny or quirky campaigns. My daughter, when she graduated from the UW and moved to Denver, needed car insurance. She started with Dad and Mom’s old line State Farm, but quickly changed to GEICO. Why? I’m not sure, but geckos and cavemen May have sealed the deal. Mom and Dad were happy. She got good coverage and they’re longtime Berkshire Hathaway shareholders. Besides, I like their ads the best.


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