“The company’s latest TV ad features Tai, an elephant who appeared in the movie “Water for Elephants.” In the spot, a man spots the pachyderm in his front yard. “It’s just hanging out,” he says. His wife replies, “Honey, it’s auto insurance. It’s supposed to be there when we need it,” while the voice-over steers viewers to Elephant.com. The spot is by Barber Martin Agency in Richmond, Va., where Elephant is based.
Still, Elephant is not interested in matching the ad spending of its big rivals or does it come anywhere close. The marketer spent a mere $3.35 million on measured media in 2011, according to Kantar Media.
The big marketers have “almost created this expectation that you’ve got a have a flashy new ad every week, and that gets really expensive,” Mr. Minkler said. “You’ve got to have a presence and it’s got to be memorable on TV” but “there’s a point at which it becomes overkill and it becomes about agencies trying to win awards or a company trying to say they’ve found the cool next character people will talk about.”