Allstate scores a brand messaging homerun for #carolinastrong featuring a 500-year-old Angel Oak tree

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True confession time. How many of you still watch tv commercials? Okay, maybe I’m in a club by myself. But let me ask you this. How many of you appreciate a good commercial when you see it? Think Superbowl quality. Allstate has scored a brand messaging home run honoring #carolinastrong following Hurricane Florence. The focus? The age, wisdom and resilience of a 500-year-old Angel Oak tree.

How understanding leads to meaningful brand messaging

I love it when a company gets it right. By ‘right’ I mean when a brand and message connect and they resonate. There are four key factors a company should keep in mind when crafting brand messaging:

  • Understand who you are and what you stand for
  • Understand who you want to attract and serve
  • Understand the sandbox you should play in
  • Align your messaging against the above points


It’s been two weeks since Hurricane Florence hit my former homeland of N.C. While most of us have carried on, they haven’t. If you’ve been through a hurricane – or any natural disaster – the immediate threat departs but the recovery is where the journey truly begins.

Last week, I had a friend visiting from N.C. and we saw this commercial one evening while watching tv.

The first thing to come out of both of our mouths? Wow. Well done Allstate. This commercial works because of the brand messaging. Or put another way: the messaging works because of the brand. As consumers, we’re accustomed to hearing the voice of Dennis Haysbert and associating it with Allstate. The brand messaging works because it’s delivered with a stoic yet serene tone. You trust the messenger; you believe the message. It all works together.

Why Allstate hit a 60 second home run

Here’s four additional reasons why this commercial is a great example of a company understanding who they are and who they serve.

  • Simple visuals. The opening graphic of the vast Angel Oak tree is breathtaking. It conveys ‘I’ve weathered storms and you can do it too.’ It immediately pulls you in and invokes hope.
  • Aesthetic qualities. The music coupled with the camera slowing pulling away from the tree demonstrates its enormity and builds emotion. It expresses beauty, strength and inspiration.
  • Subtle voice. The Allstate company name is never mentioned. Instead, it fades up in silence with the logo at the end. It’s not about them, rather, it’s about who they serve.
  • Key partnerships. Want to help? Allstate has partnered with the American Red Cross to assist Hurricane Florence victims.

Another true confession. I’m not an actual Allstate customer so I don’t know if their service backs their brand messaging and promise. (Cue to all of you who are customers to add your feedback and thoughts in the comments section). That said, as a brand babe and a former Carolina gurl, I applaud you Allstate. I appreciate the simplicity and authenticity. It resonates.

As always, chime in! N.C mates, let us know how you’re surviving. Brand pros, share your own examples of successful brand messaging. And all, share your thoughts and experiences supporting #carolinastrong.

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Catherine W · at

Saw this a couple days ago. I agree, no matter where you’re from the nostalgia gets you…

Helen · at

First time I saw it I thought the same thing “WOW.” After nine days of exhaustion and worrying, it did give me pause & some strength. Unfortunately, I sent the “all is good” note out too early. I left my car at a friend’s house because he has a HUGE VAN and I figured I could use it if there were flood waters. Well, I did and it came in handy for several days when I was able to drive and others weren’t. However, when I went to get my car, I found it had flooded up to the seats. It’s a total loss. So I am shopping for a new car. I was upset for a day & then realized it could be so, so much worse. The only car I ever bought was a Pinto — so I am doing my research and asking my friends lots and lots of questions. Otherwise, I am helping out several friends clean up yards. Several friends from pool have lost everything. Just devastating so keep your former home state in your prayers!

    @cooldeb · at

    Oh Helen, I’m so sorry you lost the car. I can’t imagine you thought all was good and then it was gone. I’m glad you have friends to rely on and if I can do anything to help you with car shopping, let me know. I’ve bought many on my own. Thank you for your kind heart in helping others. I hear this story from many of you…I’m okay but my neighbor/friend/family member isn’t so I’m helping out. This defines #carolinastrong.

Elizabeth · at

We saw the angel tree in person the weekend before the storm. First visit to see this majestic tree. Wow. The video angle captures the strength of the tree well. Battered but never broken indeed. We are doing well in central NC. East of us is another story.

cooldeb · at

Wow, what an opportunity Elizabeth! No doubt it was breathtaking – and how ironic on the timing! Glad to hear you’re safe. I know many in the Wilmington and Jacksonville areas are still recovering. Continued prayers have been asked for and are ongoing. If anyone wants to donate, there are many online opportunities including the Red Cross. I saw an offer from Google and Wells Fargo over the weekend. Here in Florida, Publix is helping. I’m appreciative for the national call to assist.

Jerry R · at

Powerful commercial.

Carol B · at

Wally and I visited this tree in 2008 when we vacationed up the east coast, spent a wonderful week at Edisto Beach, and day trips to Charleston but the day we saw this tree I was blown away with awe at its grandness.

Lynn Wright · at

Hello my long-time friend Debbie – aka Cool Deb –
I live in eastern North Carolina. We live in a tiny town called Beulaville which is 25 miles east of Jacksonville. My husband is a retired Marine and that’s the main reason we still live in this area. We both work in Jacksonville and know lots of people in surrounding areas – Sneads Ferry, Topsail Island, Surf City, Swansboro, Burgaw, Rocky Point, Wilmington and the list goes on. Little bitty Chinquapin is literally four miles from us. Look up what happened just in this one tiny place. The devastation is overwhelming and it’s walking distance from my house. Rich, poor and everything in between lost EVERYTHING. We were surrounded in ALL directions by flooding. We were fortunate as the area we are in has historically, never flooded. Let me just tell you that as a person who “stayed” here for a Category 3 (FRAN 1996) I cannot even begin to imagine the destruction had this storm came in as a category 3,4 or 5. Eastern NC would have been obliterated. My parents lost an ocean front home during that storm, so although we were lucky this time, the pain of losing your home is real for my family. The significance of this storm is that it hovered over us for three days and three nights. The rainfall was relentless. Afterwards, the only way I can describe it, is like something you would see on TV. Everyone was trapped, in one way or another by massive flooding, rescue planes and helicoptors flew overhead countless times. It felt like an apocalypse in the fact that when you could get out, everything far and wide was closed. Basic necessities were completely out of reach – people just out wandering around with a look of disbelief on their faces. I could go on and on but I won’t. Instead I would like to focus on the positive – most people survived – animals were rescued – people RUSHED to help each other – everyone came together as one – the way it should be ALL the time, but it’s not. People have said to me over and over that material things can be replaced but lives cannot. It was also a site to see literally HUNDREDS of electrical companies from all over the US come to help us – tow trucks, trucks to carry off mounds and mounds of belongings left on the roadside – people coming here with supplies and volunteers from all over the country. It has been a sad, yet amazing experience. I feel the pang of guilt that I was unaffected in this unbelievable disaster – but I am doing what I can in my community. Out the door as I speak to drop off more cleaning supplies and clothing to a local church. We as a community have decided that we do not like the “F” words – haha = Fran, Floyd, Florence. We will survive – the spirit of the people here is undeniable = CAROLINA STRONG – Take care everyone 🙂

@cooldeb · at

Oh Lynn, thank you my friend for sharing your truth. I’ve got tears in my eyes reading this because I can envision what this looks like. Been there and done that with Hurricane Matthew and Hurricane Irma here in Florida. And Hurricane Irene in OBX. (Think it was Irene). I so appreciate you openly sharing the range of devastation to the community of care. I know you’ve been helping the church on several occasions. Thank you for your servant heart and thank you for sharing this update. Love and hugs to Beulaville and the surrounding communities.

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