"They're gonna want you dead," claims the tagline from Ladder in a new ad.
Death isn't usually something life insurance companies like to bring up in their ads. But, as a challenger brand in the crowded life insurance space, Ladder needed to do something to carve out space in this crowded category and get noticed.
Olivia Borsje, Ladder's VP of Marketing, commented in this Adweek article, about the new ad, titled "Crocodile.
“‘Crocodile’ is about more than the next installment in our campaign. It’s representative of the way Ladder is revolutionizing life insurance for customers—not only through product and distribution innovation, but also through brand.” - Olivia Borsje, Ladder's VP of Marketing
We decided to measure Ladder's latest ad to see just how well this is working. The strategy seems sound - grab attention with a catchy headline and build small stories around the idea of your loved ones wanting you dead.
Is it heartwarming? No.
But does it drive Immersion? Read on, my friend!
As a continuation from Ladder's earlier spot in October 2021, we see the same married couple in "Crocodile." We open on the husband, returning home from work to flowers and candles invitingly leading up the stairs in his home.
He climbs the stairs, excited to see what's behind the bedroom door. Opens the door, flops down on the bed and . . . Well. Now we know why the ad is named CROCODILE.
Looking at the ad breakdown, our key moment of the highest immersion score occurred at 0:10 seconds to 0:39 seconds. This makes sense based on what we know about storytelling driving immersion, because this timeframe is the height of the tension that's been building throughout the ad.
At this point, our main character has made it to the top of the stairs. What awaits him there? The suspense is palpable and the immersion score is high!
We can see this in more detail in our second-by-second breakdown of the ad.
You can see that immersion scores spike at the 10-second mark and stay high for the majority of the duration of the ad. See the full measurement HERE.
Another brilliant move by the brand? The Ladder logo, voiceover and disclaimer take place at the height of immersion -ensuring a much higher brand recall from their audience.
Often in humorous insurance ads - we can remember the joke. But not the brand. It's a trap content-creators fall into when they have a truly great idea. How do we tie the brand in?
The best way to do this is make your brand synonymous with the conflict resolution in your story. But that's often tough in a 30-second spot. The answer when you're in a pinch?
Moving the logo placement and voiceover to key moments in immersion is a great safeguard to increase future recall and purchase.
Finally, zooming back out to the overview of the ad, we can look at the participant breakdown. 91% of our audience was fully absorbed or captivated. Only 1 holdout was tuned out for the ad.
Ladder's strategy and approach to breakthrough the clutter with their "they're gonna want you dead" tagline is smart and memorable. And their execution relies on storytelling that drives immersion in the audience, which will drive brand recall and sales.