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Available Expert - MetLife ends Peanuts ad campaign

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Queen's University marketing expert Kenneth Wong is available to comment on the announcement that insurance provider MetLife is ending their 31-year advertising partnership with the Peanuts animated characters. The decision comes as the company moves to spin-off its personal life insurance division to focus on more corporate clientele.

"Insurance is a hard business in which to make an impression because the product is largely intangible and, while there may be differences in specific terms of coverage, we tend not to focus on them until we need to," says Professor Wong. "Add to that the dominant perception that insurance companies are behemoth, impersonal places and you can easily understand the value of the Peanuts 'endorsement.'"

Professor Wong adds, however, that the Peanuts fan demographic are not the prime insurance-purchasing demographic at this time. The challenge they, and other such brands, will face is determining what represents the "next Peanuts," in terms of cross-over marketing potential.

Professor Wong is the Distinguished Professor of Marketing at Smith School of Business. He is available for interviews during the afternoon of October 20, and by phone for print or radio on October 21.

To arrange an interview, please contact communications officer Chris Armes (613-533-6000 ext. 77513 or chris.armes@queensu.ca) or Anne Craig (613-533-2877 or anne.craig@queensu.ca) at Queen’s University News and Media Services Department in Kingston, Ont., Canada.

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