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?