David Alexander headshot.

In the News: Marketing Professor David Alexander on Influence of TV Ads

Personal finance website WalletHub asked David Alexander, associate professor of marketing at the University of St. Thomas Opus College of Business: "How influential do you think TV advertisements are when people are choosing their car insurance provider?"

Here's his response: TV advertisements have an outsized influence on consumers when they choose their car insurance. Companies use their ads to create experiences with consumers that show how a company wants the same thing the consumer wants. Through repeated exposure to their ads, consumers form a level of trust that is disarming. They bond with the characters pitching the company and make comparisons between firms based on their feelings toward those companies rather than the actual policies offered. Consumers rarely know how to evaluate the policies offered by car insurance companies which make choosing a policy very difficult. Rather than making the cost-benefit trade-offs needed to find the best policy for their needs, they use their gut reaction toward each company built up from their experiences with the TV ads and choose the company they feel the closest connection to. Where possible, consumers should enlist the help of a car insurance broker representing several firms who can help them take a step back and find a policy that fits their needs rather than one from a company whose TV ads they like.