Five Questions for Allstate’s Lisa Cochrane

As Senior Vice President, Integrated Marketing Communications, Lisa is responsible for consumer communications for all business units of Allstate Corporation, including brand standards and guidelines, advertising, direct marketing and interactive communications, collateral, promotions, sponsorships and consumer public relations.

Allstate recently participated in the “Blackout Week” campaign on Facebook in order to raise awareness of teen driving deaths. Can you tell me a little more about that program?

The “Blackout Week” on Facebook began on May 20 (statistically the deadliest day of the year for teen drivers) and was designed to engage consumers in Allstate’s Save 11 campaign and raise awareness of the fact that car crashes are the number one killer of teens in the United States.

” Lisa Cochrane

Allstate’s Save 11 campaign has existed for over a year now and was developed to not only raise awareness of the fact that an average of 11 teens die each day from car crashes, but also to help pass the STANDUP Act (Safe Teen and Novice Driver Protection Act), which would establish minimum federal requirements for state Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) laws.

Thousands of consumers participated in “Blackout Week” and “blacked out” their profile photo that week in a show of solidarity and support for teen driving safety and passage of the STANDUP Act. Allstate’s Save 11 Facebook page has more than 97,000 fans – many who actively engage with the page and share their thoughts, stories and heartache –and we recently cleared a major hurdle by getting important Graduated Driver Licensing provisions from the STANDUP Act written into the pending Surface Transportation Reauthorization legislation in the House and the Senate. But we still need to get Congress to pass these critical national GDL laws and so the Save 11 campaign will continue.

“You’re in Good Hands with Allstate,” which was created in 1950, is one of the most powerful and iconic slogans in American advertising. How will you make it relevant for your next generation of customers?

I think our slogan is, always has been and will continue to be relevant for all consumers. “You’re in Good Hands with Allstate” embodies what our company stands for. We are here to protect our customers from life’s uncertainties and prepare them for the future – it’s what we’ve done for the past 80 years and what we will continue to do for years to come.

While the slogan remains the same, we will always adapt how we communicate with consumers so that we reach them when, where and how they want to be communicated with – be it through an Allstate agent, online, via phone, in Spanish, etc. That’s a big part of what being in “Good Hands” is all about – Allstate is here and available to consumers when they need us.

Can you name a recent creative campaign from another industry that you’ve found inspiring?

In addition to Allstate’s “Mayhem” campaign, there have been several other recent campaigns that I have found creative, fun and smart. Some, like “Mayhem,” have received awards and great accolades, and while that is certainly fun and makes companies proud, we all know that it is more important to win customers – that’s when you know you’ve created a campaign that really works.

I think the Domino’s Pizza comeback campaign has been smart and creative – I’ve loved how they’ve taken on the notion of “making it right” with their customers. It shows they have acknowledged their mistakes, learned from them, and are truly committed to “making it right.”

I also think the recent Bing digital search campaign was innovative and entertaining. The campaign went after their competition head on among a cluttered online space, and I can relate to that with the advertising Allstate develops.

With the integrated “Good Hands Route” airing on CBS Radio and Metro Traffic stations, you’ve been able to own traffic and weather across major markets in a unique and organic manner. How is this innovative approach to content integration paying off for you?

For one thing, it’s completely local – and we love that. This integration is all about consumers getting instant information on traffic and weather so they can feel prepared for the day or drive ahead.

Obviously, both traffic and weather are full of uncertainty and this sponsorship allows Allstate to intersect with consumers in their everyday lives and provide proactive protection through tips and information through these reports. It’s a natural extension to what we do for our customers everyday and because of the regularity of the advertising, it helps increase consumers’ top of mind awareness of Allstate.

In recent years, Dennis Haysbert has been the face of Allstate advertising. Tell me: is his voice that impressively deep in real life?

It most certainly is! Not only is it that deep, but it is as reassuring as it sounds, too – which is why Dennis has been the face and voice of Allstate for more than 8 years now.

Who doesn’t love hearing Dennis ask, “Are you in Good Hands?”