“Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there.” This comforting ad slogan was recently inducted into the Advertising hall of fame as an influential tag line. It does all the things a good ad should do. It always makes you think of State Farm, it’s short and memorable and it has stood the test of time. It also makes you think a bit about what it means to be a good neighbor.
Of course, The Allstate slogan that has been running since 1956 reminds us that we’re “in good hands with Allstate.” Again a comforting idea when things are running amuck in our lives.
What both of these companies are selling then is comfort, a sense that when we’re going through personal calamity, we’re not alone, that someone is there and will help us. Those are powerful messages and ones that I’m taking to heart. They challenge me to think about two of the pivotal messages that influence my life and direction every day. They came from Jesus as he helped people digest the Ten Commandments into two that were essential. As you recall those were, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. Love your neighbor as yourself.”
We’re in “good hands” when we do those two things and we probably become even more neighborly. So this week, I’m thinking we should challenge ourselves to be a walking slogan that others can relate to. When they see us they should think, yes, “There’s Karen again, trying to turn up the light” or “There’s Mary, dispensing smiles like warm chocolates.” Maybe if we identify ourselves and our own sense of mission just like the big guys do, we’d be more apt to hold steady no matter what happens. After all, I can’t even think about what happens if AllState has a bad day and I’m no longer in “good hands” or if I find myself without one good neighbor.
One thing that keeps me confident in a product is knowing it has longevity, that it will be there no matter how long it is before I need it again. I like to know that once I’ve gotten into using it, it’s not going to fold up its tent and go away making me have to start over to find a new source. It’s the promise that a good ad slogan makes that we buy into each time we hear it.
So back to us, let’s look at what we promise to the people around us, what we know they can confidently rely on. What is it that is unwavering in the way we do business every day? What is it that makes people come back for more from us? Discover that and you’ll find your life slogan. It’s your advertisement. As Billy Graham once said, “You’re the only Bible some people will ever read.”
In the world of insurance, it’s great to have things be so simple “even a caveman can do it,” as Geico would say, but in this world and the next, I prefer the insurance I get from knowing, I’m in “good hands” and that nothing can possibly happen to me or to my neighbor without the One who created it all coming alongside to help. I like knowing this will never change since God is the same yesterday, today, and forever.
We may not get inducted into the advertising hall of fame. Our personal slogan may not catch on everywhere and become part of the vernacular, but one thing is sure. Our names are written in the book and even more than that. As it says in Isaiah, “I have engraved you on the palms of my hands.” Now, I say that puts you in very good hands…eternally.
Okay…I’m off to turn up the light. Oh, and I’d love to see your slogans if you’d like to share them because after today, I hope you “Don’t leave home without them.”