State Farm

Denny Hatch is the author of six books on marketing and four novels, and is a direct marketing writer, designer and consultant. His latest book is “Write Everything Right!” Visit him at

As California suffers from one of the worst droughts in recent history, it was recently reported that the chairman of the board of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD), was among some of the worst offenders in personal water consumption—yet he recently launched an advertising blitz to persuade 19 million people to save water.

The website looks a lot like other amateur-video sites, drawing tens of thousands of visitors a month, according to audience measurement firms. It also has ads for national brands, including Target Corp., and State Farm. But Web-security investigators at a firm called White Ops contend that most of the site's visitors aren't people. Rather, they are computer-generated visitors, or "bots," designed to fool advertisers into paying for the traffic, says White Ops, , which has blacklisted the site—and thousands more like it—so that ads from clients such as Zipcar don't land there.

Check out the “In the News” story at right. The Philadelphia Inquirer chose a headline with a local slant. “The Drudge Report” said it better:

Woman Lost Millions With Madoff, Now Cleans Houses ...

My private dossier on Bernie Madoff—who admitted to running a $50 billion Ponzi scheme for years—is bulging with 44 stories (so far). Madoff was an intermediary: He got between investors and savers and their money.

Our lives and businesses are totally entangled with intermediaries. And some of them are very, very bad.

This is about disintermediation:

The elimination of intermediaries in the supply chain, also referred to as "cutting out the middlemen."

Imagine always being the bearer of bad news. Day in, day out, consistently reminding friendly clients that the worst is yet to come-accidents, floods, fires, even death. Insurance agents have it kind of rough.

Luckily, the nature of the beast means this sector is extremely open to products and services that make winning clients that much easier. Their wares might give new meaning to the term, "hard sell," but that doesn't mean their 9 to 5 has to be difficult, too.

The insurance sector in our Who’s Mailing What! Archive encompasses more than 14 types of insurance, and the biggest category in the bunch is auto insurance. This month, we’re giving you an in-depth look into that portion of the mailstream. After all, with high gas prices here to stay, prospects are demanding greater value for their car insurance plans—including excellent coverage, good priced premiums and stellar customer service. And some auto insurance mailers are doing their best to answer that demand. The blind 9-1/4˝ x 9-1/4˝ outer from Amica Mutual Insurance says only “Important Rate Information,” which may or may not get prospects inside.

By Kendra Wilson Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there." Everyone knows the slogan. Right? Or maybe it's just those of us who hold an insurance policy with State Farm. Either way, the company brands itself well. I've been a State Farm auto insurance holder since I got my license at the ripe, old age of 16. Ever since, I've received direct mail from the company. It always looks as though it's coming directly from my agent. I feel as though I know him. So, consequently, I always open that mail first. This particular mailing, a 4-1/2" x 6" effort, is no

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