Geico Leads Home Insurance TV Advertising, Progressive Tops Paid Search
If you watch television, chances are you’re as familiar with the Geico Gecko and Flo the Progressive Insurance Lady as you are with Ronald McDonald and the Pillsbury Doughboy. Hence, it will not be a shock to learn that Geico and Progressive are the top spending television advertisers in a new Kantar study of homeowner’s insurance ads. What may come as a surprise, however, is how much more Geico is spending than Progressive and the rest of their home insurance competitors.
According to Kantar estimates, Geico spent nearly $55 million on TV commercials promoting its homeowner’s insurance from November 2019 through January 2020, more than twice as much as the $23 million spent by Progressive, and more than three times as much as the nearly $16 million spent by State Farm, the third biggest home insurance advertiser during the period. Liberty Mutual ($9.1 million) and Allstate ($5.5 million) rounded out the top five.
Notably, Kantar’s study encompasses commercials specifically promoting homeowner’s insurance. Hence, there is a significant drop in spend toward the bottom of the top 10 ranking, which is occupied by smaller players in the category. In addition, a high-spending TV advertiser like Farmers Insurance did not make the ranking because the majority of their ads during the period promoted general insurance rather than home insurance per se.
Progressive Leads Paid Search, Comparison Sites Loom Large
Turning to digital, Kantar found the competitive landscape within paid search advertising to be considerably different than in television.
To evaluate the homeowner’s insurance market in paid search, Kantar examined U.S. Google desktop and mobile clicks on search ads displaying for 125 homeowner’s insurance-related keywords from November 2019 through January 2020, including ‘homeowners insurance’, ‘home insurance’ and ‘home insurance quote’.
Kantar data shows Progressive led all advertisers in desktop search, collecting 15.8% of all consumer clicks on the homeowner’s insurance keywords during the three-month period. In addition, Progressive tied for the top ranking in mobile search, garnering 10.7% of all clicks.
As for the other leaders in television advertising, State Farm ranked fourth in desktop search with a 6.6% click share on the keyword group and third in mobile search with a strong 10.1% click share, while Geico tied for fifth in desktop search with a 6% click share and eighth in mobile search with a 3.2% click share. Liberty Mutual ranked tenth in both desktop and mobile search with a respective 3.4% and 3% click share.
One reason these insurance companies are not performing even better in the search auction is competition from companies that don’t actually sell insurance--primarily third party comparison sites that enable consumers to compare quotes from actual home insurance providers, who in turn pay the comparison site on a per lead basis.
Within desktop search, six of the top 10 most clicked advertisers were comparison sites, accounting for nearly 42% of all clicks on the home insurance keywords during the period. In mobile search, five of the top 10 were comparison sites, capturing nearly 36% of all clicks. In addition, Quicken Loans ranked seventh in mobile search with a 4.3% click share, although it appears the company does not offer insurance but instead is promoting its mortgage lending business.
While homeowner’s insurance is required to get a home mortgage, renter’s insurance has no such requirement attached to it and consequently is not as prevalent. We found this reflective in television advertising, where Geico was the only advertiser spending significant money on renter’s insurance ads—$17.3 million—during the three-month period we studied.
Within paid search, we studied 93 renter’s insurance-related keywords on U.S. Google desktop and mobile search from November 2019 through January 2020, and found insurance companies were more prominent in the results than in homeowner’s insurance keywords compared to third party comparison sites.
Progressive led both desktop and mobile search with a 20.2% and 20.3% click share on renter’s insurance keywords, respectively. Geico ranked a relatively distant but still strong second place with a 13.6% desktop click share and an 11.1% mobile click share, followed by Liberty Mutual and State Farm. Comparison sites in the top 10 had far less of an impact than in homeowner’s insurance, accounting for around 13% of desktop clicks and close to 19% of mobile clicks.