Nationwide’s Strange Insurance Ad

Last year Nationwide, the insurance company, sparked a nationwide backlash with their insurance ad during the 2015 Super Bowl.

This insurance company normally sticks to reminders that they are “on your side” and use Julia Roberts’ voice in their marketing messages. The risky expensive insurance ad forced Nationwide however, to release a statement regarding the advertisement.

The commercial debuted during the New England Patriots’ ultimately winning game against the Seattle Seahawks. The ad was called “Make Safe Happen”. It opened with a shot of a little child riding a tricycle, playing with a dog and participating in regular childhood activities.

The little boy said “I’ll never learn to ride a bike. I’ll never learn to fly. I won’t ever get married.”

The Insurance ad takes a surprising and dark turn when the child says: “I could n’t grow up because I died from an accident.” Then the ad reads, “The number one cause of childhood deaths is preventable accidents. At Nationwide, we believe in protecting what matters most – your kids. Together, we can make safe happen.”

A twitter storm followed in reaction to the advertisement.

After the less-than-positive reaction, Nationwide Insurance was forced to release a statement about the company’s intention with the “Make Safe Happen” ad.  They claimed that the marketing opportunity, which set them back about $7 million, was not for the purpose of selling insurance but to start a conversation.

Furthermore, the company said that they have been working with experts for more than 60 years to make homes safer.

“Preventable injuries around the home are the leading cause of childhood deaths in America,” they said in a statement to NBC News. Nationwide said that the sole purpose of this message was to start a conversation, not sell insurance.

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Snejina Zacharia is the founder and CEO of Insurify.  Insurify has launched a platform called Evia. The goal of the company is to make the car insurance shopping experience clear and simple.

The company received $2 million from Rationalwave Capital Partners to launch its robo-agent platform. Furthermore, it is available in 30 states.  Also similar to Coverhound which compares car and property insurance on its site.

Buying auto insurance through is as simple as taking a photo of one’s licence plate. This  photo is sent by text to a phone number provided on the site. The photo triggers a process whereby Evia (an Expert Virtual Insurance Agent) will ask additional questions.

A potential client will be asked questions to verify his identity. Furthermore whether he owns or leases the vehicle. If certain terms are unclear he can ask Evia. Based on her own knowledge she will answer. If she does not know the answer, a human will respond on her behalf.

Evia by the way,  uses natural language processing to understand what people are saying.

The robo-agent scours millions of records in order to verify personal information. It also obtains details of driving history. The applicant is then provided via text message with quotations and recommendations. Insurify’s algorithms pull quotes that match the queries from 82 insurance companies.

The idea for Evia is modelled on deal-hunting services for flights and hotels.

When the client is satisfied with the quotation, he makes the call to complete the deal.