The ten best insurance commercials of all time

The best insurance commercials of all time use a mix of humor and emotion to attract customers

The ten best insurance commercials of all time


By Mark Rosanes

In a fiercely competitive industry such as insurance, advertisements can be a powerful tool to help companies cut through the clutter and grab consumers’ attention. This is the main reason why many insurers spend a lot of money to come up with the best insurance commercials.

Who doesn’t recognize GEICO’s Gecko, or Progressive’s Flo, or Jake from State Farm? Who hasn’t heard that “Nationwide is on your side” or that “like a good neighbor State Farm is there,” or that catchy “we are Farmers, bum-ba-dum, bum-bum-bum-bum” jingle? A major part of why these characters and jingles were created is to improve brand recall.

In this article, Insurance Business ranks 10 of the best insurance commercials of all time. These ads range from the funny and downright comedic to those that tug the heartstrings. We will also share our thoughts on why these advertisements became popular. Sit back and enjoy our picks for the best insurance commercials of all time.

10 best insurance commercials of all time

1. GEICO – The GEICO Gecko

What better way to start our list with the iconic Gecko. GEICO introduced the mascot in collaboration with the advertising giant The Martin Agency in 1999 for reasons that may surprise you. Gecko has since become the most recognizable aspect of the Berkshire Hathaway subsidiary’s commercial, even being named America’s favorite advertising icon in 2005.

In the video below, Gecko explains the importance of having an icon like him to attract customers. Gecko has the attributes of a popular figure – he’s relatable and funny, not to mention he has a catchy tagline. Who doesn’t know that “15 minutes could save you 15% or more on your car insurance?” Check out Gecko’s take on the role of icons in effective advertising.

GEICO is known to invest heavily in advertising. It is, therefore, not surprising that the brand is behind some of the best insurance commercials of all time. These include the company’s Cavemen, Maxwell the Pig, and Rhetorical Question series.

Get to know the popular character in the insurer’s ad campaigns - Geico caveman.

2. Allstate – Mayhem Series

Actor Dean Winters is mayhem personified in Allstate’s Mayhem commercial series. You may recognize him in TV shows such as Brooklyn 99 and Oz, and in the movie John Wick. In the series of commercials narrated by Dennis Haysbert, Winters characterizes the different things that can go wrong and result in a claim.

Allstate partnered with Chicago-based Leo Burnett Worldwide to come up with the series and, in 2010 released one of its best insurance commercials, the ridiculously funny Teenage Girl in Pink SUV.

This video about an “emotionally compromised” teen driver has racked up almost three million views, with most commenters saying this is their favorite commercial in the series. One commented that the ad was “99% better than some TV shows,” while another wrote that what’s unsettling about the commercial is that “it's very accurate.” Whoopsies!

3. State Farm – Hot Tub

Before Jake from State Farm, there was Hot Tub, one of the best insurance commercials of all time that instantly went viral after being released, even spawning song remixes and several parodies.

State Farm worked with the advertising firm Translation in 2010 to produce this commercial, which shows three friends sitting in a living room when a window breaks. One of the men, who is insured under State Farm then sings the company’s jingle, making his agent appear. He urged his friends to do the same, one of whom asked for a sandwich and the other a hot tub.

Horrid singing and jokes aside, the message that State Farm wanted to get across is by choosing the company as your insurer, you can get the peace of mind of knowing that an agent is always there ready to help.

4. American Family Insurance – Dad Insurance 

Let’s move on to something more serious. American Family Insurance worked with BBDO New York to create an inspirational commercial about a young boy who dreams of becoming a flamenco dancer. But instead of supporting his passion, his father enrolled him in judo classes as a preventative measure against neighborhood bullies. In the end, the father gifts his son with a flamenco outfit after he wins competition after competition.

The video was released around Father’s Day in 2016. It reminded viewers about the lengths parents would go to protect their children. American Family wanted to convey to consumers that this kind of protection is what they will receive should they choose the company as their insurer. It has since registered almost six million views on YouTube.

5. Prudential – The Magnets Experiment

In 2015, Prudential teamed up with the creative agency McCann Worldgroup to conduct an interesting social experiment. The participants were asked to stick magnets that described their past and future – yellow magnets for the positive things and blue for the negative ones. And the results were telling.

As you saw, the past showed an equal mix of good and bad things, while the future was filled almost entirely with positive things. Jen Hays, one of the experiment’s creative director called this “optimism bias,” which is the prevalent belief that more positive things will happen to us in the future than negative. Unfortunately, this kind of thinking is also holding us back from doing things that are good for us, including preparing for our future.  

“People were enlightened to the fact that we are optimistic thinkers, but when it comes to planning for our future, it's important that we protect ourselves and plan for whatever the future might bring,” Hays noted.

6. Liberty Mutual – Humans

We know you’re anticipating something from LiMu Emu and Doug with that catchy jingle at the end. But we went with this 2012 commercial, which sums up the importance of having the right insurance, especially for us humans who are “born to make mistakes.”

“It’s amazing we made it this far,” the narrator says. “Maybe because when one of us messes up, someone else comes along to help out.” Liberty Mutual delivers this beautiful message in this somewhat nerve-wracking, somewhat humorous commercial produced in partnership with Hill Holliday.  

7. Farmers – Hall of Claims Series

Farmers is known for its series of humorous commercials featuring some of the weirdest and wackiest insurance claims the company has received. These include a car stuck on a rooftop, an engagement ring stolen by “romantic rodents,” and an RV smashed by a swing set hurled by an angry moose.

The ads start with J.K. Simmons giving clients a tour of what seems to be a museum containing remnants of the most outrageous claims filed with the company. “At Farmers we’ve seen almost everything,” Simmons begins. “So, we know how to cover almost anything.” 

For our best insurance commercials of all time list, we picked UFH20, the case of the exploding water tank, which burst through the homeowner’s roof and rose meters into the air before hurtling down his neighbor’s car. The look on the guy’s sums it all up.

8. Nationwide – One Up

Are you one of those people who dread calling their insurance company? Then here’s something you can relate to.

This 2016 insurance commercial shows the hilarious antics of a couple trying to avoid contacting their insurer and in doing so messes their home even more. Nationwide uses this commercial to let customers know that if they choose the company as their provider, they wouldn’t have a similar problem.

9. MetLife – Peanuts Series

MetLife partnered with Snoopy and the Peanuts gang for more than three decades to inform customers about the importance of having the right insurance and what types of coverage the company offers. Sadly, MetLife ended their relationship with the gang in 2016 in a bid to build its own brand identity.

Nevertheless, the partnership has produced some of the most iconic and best insurance commercials of all time like this 1995 ad featuring Woodstock, which explains how the different policies MetLife offers can help protect you financially.

10. Esurance – Sorta Mom

In this informative ad starring Lindsay Lohan, Esurance manages to highlight the importance of getting coverage that’s tailored to your unique needs, something that the company offers.

“Pay what’s right for you, not for someone sorta like you,” the narrator points out. It helps that Esurance used a notable celebrity in this insurance commercial as it is an effective way of improving brand retention. 

Why do insurers spend a lot of money to make the best insurance commercials?

By now, you have probably seen countless insurance commercials and one thing you may have noticed is that most feature iconic characters and come with zany jingles and catchphrases that stick in your head.

This is exactly the primary purpose of these advertisements. In a highly competitive space like insurance, companies are investing heavily to create the best insurance commercials designed to improve brand recall. The goal is that when customers start to think about getting insurance, their brand is the first one that comes to mind. 

If you ever wondered why many insurance commercials use comedy to reach audiences, this article answers your question. 

Which insurers spend the most on insurance commercials?

The largest insurance companies allocate hundreds of millions of dollars to produce the best insurance commercials. This highlights the huge role a strong advertising campaign plays in attracting and retaining clients and raking in profits. The table below lists the industry’s 10 biggest spenders when it comes to advertising, according to the latest data gathered by this website.

Insurance commercials 10 biggest spenders

Do you want to know the most famous characters based on a recent survey? Click here to know the best insurance mascots ranked by popularity as chosen by the insurance buyers themselves.

Honorable mentions for best insurance commercials

As part of an April Fool's prank, or promotion, or viral marketing campaign, whatever you would like to call it, Progressive Insurance ran a campaign on April Fool's day insurance. They set up a website that allowed you to create your own fake news story and then once you push the button to publish it it gave you a credible-looking link you could post on Facebook.

Ok, ok, this isn’t a commercial...but we think you’ll still get a giggle out of it!


Do you agree with our choices for the best insurance commercials of all time? Or did we miss anything? Feel free to send us your top picks in the comments section below.


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