The Red Barron couldn’t shoot Snoopy down, but MetLife just did. MetLife has abandoned Snoopy as their corporate icon.
Snoopy WAS MetLife for some 30 years (that’s 210 in dog years, BTW) and, in my mind, set the brand apart from all of the other cold, impersonal personal insurance companies.
But, alas, a new sheriff (read: CMO) arrived in MetLife World and she see saw her first task to be burying the beagle. Esther Lee said research showed consumers believed Snoopy lacked key qualities such as leadership and responsibility. I beg to differ. Snoopster alone took it upon himself to battle the dreaded Red Baron in nonstop mano-a-canino aerial combat. That’s Congressional Medal of Honor-type leadership. And, Snoopster alone took the responsibility to maintain the appearances of his dog house. Show me another pooch who accepted such weighty (and odiferous) tasks.
But, MetLife’s game-changing CMO said the brand needed to abandon the dog, and embrace warmth and humor in its new efforts (excuse me, but aren’t dogs, warmth and humor interchangeable?). In fact, that thinking runs (trots?) backwards when one stops to think there isn’t a single TV spot, print ad or FB page that isn’t chock-full of lovable pooches.
As for embracing warmth and humor, that thinking is also a day late and a dollar short.
Every single one of MetLife’s competitors has been embracing both to humanize their brands for some time. One need only think of Geico, Allstate’s Mayhem and State Farm, to name a few.
And, here’s the final nail in Snoopy’s coffin: MetLife also unveiled a new corporate logo that it is not only bland as bleach water, but nearly identical to that of Emblen Health (insert pics).
I’m a big believer in staying ahead of the curve and anticipating marketplace needs. But, I’m not a big believer in change for the sake of change. Sadly, far too many new CMOs take the latter course. And, whacking Snoopy sure seems to me to be the wrong choice at the wrong time.
But, hey, I adore dogs of all kinds, so what do I know?
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Competition in marketing insurance has created quite a dog-eat-dog world. How about replacing him with a teddy bear. The Cubs are trending at the moment.
I beg to differ Danderoo. Snoopy is experiencing a renaissance among younger audiences. There was a feature Peanuts film last year, the Gap sells complete lines of Snoopy clothes and Pottery Barn just launched a line of Snoopy sheets and PJ’s. Snoopy is now and forever the top dog. I agree with RepMan, the Snoopster made the topic of insurance and financial planning approachable and fun. People avoid shopping for insurance like the plague, by injecting humor and fun and using a timeless icon like the Snoop, MetLife had the opportunity to engage audiences across all demographics. R.I.P Snoopy!
Lack of leadership?! It was Snoopy who made all the toast and popcorn when Peppermint Patty invited herself over for Thanksgiving dinner. Whatever the validity of the decision, the rationale is wrong.
I’m glad Snoopy’s gone. I always thought he trivialized insurance. And, ‘Peanuts’ is so far off the radar… asking Millennials, Gen Xers, Yers or Zers about the Red Baron would be like asking Boomers about Flash Gordon. Who knows who he was and who cares. Go find a winter’s bone, Snoop.