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The Travelers Insurance Dog and his Soapbox Car

Written by Michele Wilmonen. Posted in Advertising, Research Last Updated: 01/18/2012

Travelers Insurance tugs at the heartstrings with a short story about a dog and his boy’s soapbox car.

Summary

Commercial opens on a white screen with the red Travelers Insurance umbrella flying into the next scene (music playing). We see a broke soapbox car resting next to a dog house. The dog is lying outside of the doghouse and has a flashback to all of the good times that he and his boy had with that soapbox before it was damaged.

We see the dog pushing the boy in the soapbox car down the street, running next to him as the car is rolling down a hill, supervising as the car is being washed and finally surveying the damage of an accident with a tree.

Flashback ends and we are back to the dog in current time, we hear a kiddie horn honking and the dog perks up. Dog runs around the house and there is the soapbox car all fixed up and under a Travelers Insurance umbrella.

Announcer: When your car is more than just a car to you, the right insurance matters. Are you getting the coverage options that you need and the discounts that you deserve? For an agent or quote call 800-MY-COVERAGE or visit Travelers.com.

Commercial ends with a gray screen, the Travelers Logo, and contact information.

Point of the Commercial

Travelers Insurance has been big on using emotion to evoke action on the part of the viewer. This particular commercial has two situations that will evoke emotion. First, the relationship between a boy and his dog and how much that dog loves to play with the soapbox car with his human friend.

Second, when was the last time you saw a soapbox car randomly being used by a kid? Probably, not since you were a child. This nostalgia creates that warm, fuzzy feeling that you are now going to associate with Travelers Insurance whenever you see their logo.

Travelers Insurance further solidifies this connection with them and that soapbox, with the Travelers Insurance umbrella strategically placed on the front of the soapbox car.

On the surface though, there is a really simple connection that the damaged soapbox is a stand in for your own vehicle. It brings the point home that Travelers Insurance would be there to fix your car if you were insured with them.

What They Want you to Do

The first thing that Travelers Insurance asks you to do is to call them, it is also the first option that is listed on the left of the screen. As we are a country that reads from left to right, it is the first thing that you read. They also follow up with the option of visiting their website, but this is not the primary method of contact that they prefer that you make.

Contacting a Travelers Insurance agent is noticeably missing (well, maybe just to me) and is only mentioned once in the entire commercial. This makes me wonder if Travelers is trying to control how you are getting your quote and possibly what agent they send you to.

My Opinion

With nostalgic commercials like this, it either ends up really campy or really good. Travelers Insurance fell on the good side with this particular commercial. It was well written and created just enough emotion to make you feel good.

As much as I like digging in to the underlying message of a commercial, I also appreciate simplicity. The main point of this commercial makes it easy for anyone to understand what Travelers is saying by using the story of the dog and the damaged soapbox.

Giving this Travelers 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.

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