The insurance industry is a crowded place, which has made it one of the more creative, with names like Liberty, Geico and Progressive vying for customers in resourceful and humorous ways. The Zebra looks to leap headfirst into the fray and elevate its insurance comparison services with the help of its new agency of record, Argonaut.
After a pitch that began with 37 agencies, San Francisco-based Argonaut came out on top to develop creative solutions for The Zebra and establish the rising brand’s credibility. The insurance comparison site has seen significant growth and fundraising in recent months. The addition of its new AOR looks to position the company as a top trusted service in the marketplace.
The Zebra already bills itself as the nation’s largest insurance comparison site—differing from other insurance advertisers, which are carriers—but its recent fundraising efforts are seeing the company launch new product offerings to gain more market share.
Started in 2012, The Zebra was formed to simplify the insurance process as a resource and advocate. The company is not funded by any insurance carrier, serving as a matchmaker by offering thousands of educational resources to guide and demystify the search. The company claims to never spam customers, and doesn’t even take their phone numbers.
The last year has seen The Zebra grow significantly, with fundraising positioning it to expand its offerings and grow awareness, topping 1.3 million website visits per month as of February 2020.
Last year, the company announced revenue growth and a $38.5 million Series C fundraising round. The funding was led by Accel and also included Silverton Partners, Daher Capital, Floodgate Fund, Ballast Point Ventures and Weatherford Capital.
“The Zebra started with the notion to make shopping for insurance black and white, simplifying the process and empowering consumers to really understand their options, see them all in one place, and choose the best option for themselves. Now, as we grow, we’re able to reach so many more people, as well as advise regarding consumers’ individual needs and experiences,” The Zebra’s CEO, Keith Melnick, told Adweek.
That fundraising has led the company to seek creative solutions to get its message out there, and Argonaut fit the bill.
The Zebra sent out 37 requests for information, with 19 agencies responding to be included in the request for proposal. After narrowing down the field to three, Argonaut was eventually chosen as AOR.
So many agencies wanted to be a part of The Zebra’s growth because, as Melnick said, “We are focusing on growing our brand like never before, and those growth plans will be supported by a substantial media investment this year. It’s an excellent opportunity for an agency partner to be part of a pivotal moment in our company history.”
Argonaut rose to the top because of the agency’s ability to quickly understand what The Zebra is trying to do with its brand, according to Melnick, along with “their suggestions for how we can better define and grow our brand, and the chemistry they had with our entire team. … We feel confident Argonaut’s team and expertise is a complement to our own.”
Hunter Hindman, founder and chief creative officer of Argonaut, added, “From the moment we received the initial RFI throughout the entire process, we were inspired by both The Zebra’s vision and the people behind it. Getting to work on a brand with a wonderful mission and remarkable ambitions is one thing, but doing it alongside some really great people made this an opportunity we couldn’t stop thinking about.”