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4-Way Stop, You Go. No You Go. No You Go. PEMCO Guy

Written by Michele Wilmonen. Posted in Advertising, Research Last Updated: 02/12/2012

PEMCO uses the local company angle to sell its insurance coverage.


Commercial opens with two vehicles approaching a four-way stop at the same time.

Announcer: Politeness is nice.

One driver signals to the other driver to go ahead through the intersection first. The other driver signals back for him to go first.

Announcer: It’s gracious,

Both vehicles start to go through the intersection at the same time and both come to a sudden stop.

Announcer: It’s well-mannered.

First driver once again signals to the other vehicle to go first, this time not looking as cheerful.

Announcer: But, no one ever said it was efficient.

Both vehicles once again try to go through the intersection at the same time and both come to a sudden stop again.

The words “Northwest Profile #4” come on the screen.

Announcer: 4-way stop you go, no you go, no you go guy (word appear on the screen as announcer says them), you’re one of us.

Jogger now approaches the intersection.

Announcer: And you deserve a local insurance company that doesn’t hesitate to put customers first.

Now the two cars and the pedestrian are doing the “you go first” dance and everyone is starting and then stopping again.

The screen goes to an olive green with the PEMCO INSURANCE logo and “We’re a lot like you.” on the screen. Under the sign are the 3 insurance products they write, their phone number and “call your local agent or visit”.

Announcer: We’re a lot like you; a little different.

Point of the Commercial

PEMCO Insurance is making two points in this commercial. One, they are making the connection with drivers in the Pacific Northwest that they are from here and they know how life is in this part of the country. Because they are from this specific area, they can take care of you better than a company that is headquartered back east and probably thinks the capitol of Washington is Seattle.

Two, the politeness issue isn’t just funny, it’s making a point about the PEMCO Insurance company. In fact, they directly address it at the end of the commercial when the announcer makes the connection that PEMCO is just like the polite driver , but instead of letting the other car go first, they put you the customer first.

What They Want you to Do

They want the drivers in the Pacific Northwest to trust them because they are local. They want these drivers to switch to them from the large national companies for the same reason. PEMCO is actually playing a very strong card here. In the Pacific Northwest there is a large “Buy Local” movement to encourage people to keep their money local and help out the economy in the area that they live in.

My Opinion

I’m not sure if this is what happens in the other parts of the country, but PEMCO hit it right on the head for those of us that live in the Pacific Northwest. I have played the part of both drivers and the pedestrian, stuck in this overly, polite intersection stand-off.

Aside from that, PEMCO has a whole series of “Northwest Profile” commercials to make the point that they are a local company and that they understand what it is like to be a driver here. The commercials are simple, they are different (in other words it doesn’t mention being better than GEICO) and it makes a point.

Overall, even though it isn’t my favorite commercial; I would still give this PEMCO Insurance commercial a thumbs up.

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Michele Wilmonen

Michele’s first introduction to insurance was working for a major insurance company as a file clerk and a mailroom supervisor in a regional office. She learned insurance directly from underwriters and claims adjusters from questions and also watching them do their job. Since then, she’s earned a number of insurance certifications from the Insurance Institute of America and also a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Idaho. She blogs at Car Insurance Guidebook.

Reviews (2)

  • Rod Brooks


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    Hi Michele,

    You’re recap of the PEMCO television commercial is right on the mark. I am PEMCO’s Chief Marketing Officer and just wanted to thank you for the “thumbs up” and for sharing your insights here. We’ve worked hard to demonstrate that PEMCO is a true NW neighbor with our members and the communities we all share. If you, or others who read this, would like to meet more of our Northwest Profiles, please visit the more than 50 we’ve identified at the Were A Lot Like You website….

    All the best,


    Rod Brooks
    VP & CMO, PEMCO Mutual Insurance Company
    Twitter: @NW_Mktg_Guy


    • Michele Griffin


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      Thank you so very much for the kind comments. I am glad to hear that my analysis was on track with what your company was striving for in your advertising.

      I also wanted to thank you for taking the time to be a part of our Car Insurance Guidebook community by posting a comment. I hope that if you find time in the future, that you will feel free to provide your input on some of the other car insurance topics that we discuss on the site as well.

      Looking forward to viewing some of the other Northwest Profiles,



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