Who are the best insurance mascots of all time?

The best insurance mascots boast attributes that make them stand out. Find out which of them are most liked by insurance buyers

Who are the best insurance mascots of all time?


By Mark Rosanes

A talking lizard, a frolicking fowl, and mayhem personified – there’s no shortage of insurance mascots and characters these days, and the biggest reason; brand recognition.

In a hyper-competitive industry such as insurance, companies use advertisements as a powerful tool to cut through the noise and capture consumers’ attention, and having the best insurance mascots makes these commercials more relatable.

In this article, Insurance Business ranks the most famous and well-loved insurance mascots and characters based on a recent survey of over a thousand American adults. We will also dig deeper through the numbers and find out why these characters have achieved so much fame. Here are the 10 best insurance mascots of all time ranked by popularity as chosen by the insurance buyers themselves.

10 best insurance mascots ranked

1. The Gecko – GEICO

Awareness rating: 98%

Favorability rating: 75%

Easily the list’s top dog… I mean lizard, GEICO’s iconic mascot topped the rankings in terms of fame and lovability, which isn’t surprising since the British Cockney-accented gecko started it all. Introduced in 1999, the mascot has since become the most recognizable aspect of many of the insurer’s commercials.

The Gecko’s popularity stems from the fact that he’s not just funny and relatable, he also has a catchy tagline. Who hasn’t heard him remind customers that “15 minutes could save you 15% or more on your car insurance?” And I bet you didn’t know that the idea was all his. Here’s the Gecko explaining the origins of this famous slogan.

The Berkshire Hathaway subsidiary is also known for its fat budget for advertising. Over the years, the company has introduced many of the best insurance mascots and characters, including the Caveman and Maxwell the Pig.  

Get to know who are the Geico caveman actors behind the masks.

2. Flo – Progressive

Awareness rating: 95%

Favorability rating: 66%

Progressive’s energetic and friendly, white-aproned salesperson Flo ranks second in popularity and fifth in likeability. Played by actress and comedian Stephanie Courtney, Flo has appeared in more than 100 of the company’s commercials, which feature hilarious situations often with her quirky colleagues. She is equally popular in social media with a huge Twitter following and more than five million Facebook likes.

Here’s her debut commercial in 2008, entitled Checkout, which was also the start of Progressive’s Superstore campaign. And yeah, she does say “Wow!” louder than any customer can. 

3. The Aflac Duck – Aflac

Awareness rating: 92%

Favorability rating: 66%

Is it just me or does Aflac sound sillily similar to the sound a duck makes? Apparently, it does as this is what Aflac’s insurance mascot, the Aflac Duck – yes, that’s its actual name – has been quacking these past 20 years. Introduced in 2000, the Aflac Duck has been a recognizable figure in many of the company’s hilarious commercials.

Voiced by the late comedian Gilbert Gottfried, the Aflac Duck has made viewers laugh by doing funny activities such as dancing, performing magic tricks, covering holes in a canoe, and even trying different yoga poses, all these while squawking its signature, “Aflak!” The Aflac Duck is tied with Flo for fifth in favorability ratings. Here’s the ad that started it all for our adorable fowl.

4. Jamie – Progressive

Awareness rating: 87%

Favorability rating: 52%

Flo’s sidekick Jamie ranks in the upper half of our list, although he ranks last when it comes to likeability, but hey, 52% is still a positive rating, which reflects the important role the best insurance mascots play in improving brand retention. Jamie is played by actor Jim Cashman, and along with Flo, their commercials have helped raked in millions, if not billions, in revenue for Progressive. A true cash man, indeed. Here’s Jamie showing why he’s a legend in his own right.

5. LiMu Emu and Doug – Liberty Mutual

Awareness rating: 84%

Favorability rating: 54%

Liberty Mutual’s unpredictable emu named Limu and its 70s-era throwback sidekick Doug (yes, he’s the sidekick), played by actor David Hoffman, is relatively new in the insurance advertising airwaves, debuting in 2019. But the duo still ranks in the upper half of the list, although favorability rating is just a notch above Progressive’s Jamie.

In their ads, Doug explains to customers the benefits of the mutual insurer’s policies like having “customized coverage, so you only pay for what you need,” while the seemingly oblivious Limu Emu does, well, very emu things. The campaign has been highly successful, prompting the company to sell emu-themed merchandise on its online store. Here’s one of the dynamic duo’s commercials.

6. Jake from State FarmState Farm

Awareness rating: 83%

Favorability rating: 69%

Jake from State Farm ranks second in terms of likeability and why not? Everybody likes a good neighbor. The affable Jake is currently portrayed by actor Kevin Miles, although he’s not the OG. Miles replaced the original Jake in 2020 (more on this later) and has since rubbed elbows with famous celebrities and athletes such as Drake, Chris Paul, and Patrick Mahomes in his entertaining campaigns.

In his commercials, Jake often explains the benefits of State Farm policies wearing his signature red top and khakis and uttering the line, “like a good neighbor, State Farm is there.” Here’s Jake teaching his “stand-in” Drake a thing or two about selling State Farm insurance. 

7. Mayhem – Allstate

Awareness rating: 79%

Favorability rating: 67%

Actor Dean Winters is mayhem personified in Allstate’s Mayhem commercial series. Although his popularity may have been affected by his more than one-year hiatus, Mayhem has remained well-liked by insurance buyers, registering among the highest favorability ratings.

In the series of commercials narrated by Dennis Haysbert, Winters characterizes the different things that can go wrong in your daily life and tells what could happen if you don’t have coverage. His comedic portrayal makes him one of the best insurance mascots of all time.

Here’s one of his more recent commercials called Hashtag Challenge, and I have to admit, if I saw someone doing those dance moves on the street, I would have likely stared as well – even if it’s against #commonsense. 

8. The original Jake – State Farm

Awareness rating: 77%

Favorability rating: 61%

The original Jake from State Farm was actually one of the insurer’s employees, named Jake Stone. And just like actual employees, there are times when you need to move on to pursue better opportunities. But still, the original Jake continues to have a loyal fan base, still claiming his place among the best insurance mascots. Here’s something to bring a bit of nostalgia.

9. Professor Burke – Farmers

Awareness rating: 76%

Favorability rating: 67%

Farmers is known for its humorous informative campaigns, which feature some of the wackiest and weirdest insurance claims it has received over the years and impart tips on how you can prevent them. And Professor Burke, portrayed by actor J.K. Simmons, is the perfect character for the job.

Professor Burke exudes an aura of wisdom and experience for the Farmers brand. This makes him a reliable resource person regarding the company’s policies, as well as for sharing different claims-prevention strategies. Here’s the professor explaining the perks of Farmer’s home insurance policy.

10. Dr. Rick – Progressive

Awareness rating: 54%

Favorability rating: 59%

Despite being a relatively new character, Progressive’s Dr. Rick cracked our top 10 list, thanks to Bill Glass’ comical portrayal of a tough-love self-guru that helps homeowners – obviously millennials and Gen Xers – avoid taking on their parents’ behaviors after buying a home. Some of the hilarious situations featured in his ads include a homeowner coaching an annoyed plumber fixing their pipe and another that has placed too many throw pillows in the couch that there’s no more space to sit. 

To support the campaign, Progressive published a comedic guidebook in 2021 entitled Dr. Rick Will See You Now, which was advertised to be written by the doctor himself. Here’s Dr. Rick trying to build trust with a new homeowner obsessed with cleaning their trashcans.

Methodology for ranking the 10 best insurance mascots

For this list, we got our numbers from a poll conducted by The Harris Poll and Advertising Age involving a national representative a sample of over a thousand US adults in January 2022. You can view the complete survey results here.

Here’s a summary of our 10 best insurance mascots ranking:

10 best insurance mascots

Not all insurance mascots, however, become successful. One such example is State Farm’s Robo Agent, which drew flak for portraying the emerging insurtech sector in a bad light. The video of the ad has been set to private on YouTube, but it can still be viewed on Facebook.  

Are there insurance companies that do not use insurance mascots to build their brand?

New Jersey-based mutual insurer NJM Insurance has built a reputation of providing “just great insurance” without the use of mascots (they didn’t hire the narwhal) or repetitive jingles. But this doesn’t mean they don’t get submissions like these gems:

Why do insurers invest a lot of money to create the best insurance mascots?

One thing you may have noticed among the characters featured in our list of the best insurance mascots is that while they all use humor to get their message across, they also possess distinct attributes that make them stand out and stick in your head.

This is exactly why these iconic characters have been created. In a fiercely competitive market such as insurance, companies are allocating huge budgets to come up with the best insurance mascots to increase brand recognition. The goal is to get customers to think about their brands first and foremost when they decide to get insurance. And with insurance being an intangible product, these mascots and characters play a crucial role in making products seem more tangible.

Now that you’ve seen the best insurance mascots, it’s time to check out our picks for the best insurance commercials of all time. Just click the link, sit back, and have a few laughs.

What do you think of the best insurance mascots on the list? Did we miss anything? Chat us up in the comments section below.

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