Pemco Insurance Ads Have Seattle Drivers Figured Out

Category: Auto Insurance. Written by Cameron Wong 

“We’re a lot like you, a little different,” claims Pemco Insurance.

The insurance company’s local ads have been memorable and effective in capturing the different kinds of people in the Northwest. While some might be close to instigating a Seattle stereotype, such as Profile #76 – Super Long Coffee Orderer – they are creative and well thought out.

The ads poke fun not only at pecular Seattlelites, but find targets throughout the state. You may see Pemco ads featuring such dubious profiles like the: “Walla Walla Wine Woman”, “Tri Cities Select Sports Hostages”, and “Quiet Everett Aerospace Engineer” to name a few.

As the largest local insurance company that only operates in Washington, Pemco decided to hire an outside research firm to do an in-depth analysis to find what makes us Washingtonians tick. Their results? Washingtonians enjoy their um, uniqueness.

“People here in Washington are a little different and they’re proud of that,” explains Jon Osterberg, Pemco’s Marketing and Communications Manager. “They value their individuality and celebrate their differences.”

Loaded with that information and the desire to distinguish themselves from bigger national insurance companies, Pemco hired DNA Brand Mechanics of Seattle in 2007 to come up with “something different”, which coincidentally, turned into their slogan “We’re a Lot Like You, a Little Different.” The company even has a tongue-in cheek acronym for the ad campaign: WALLY.

“We wanted to say something no other insurance company could say,” says Osterberg. “All of us [at Pemco] live here in Washington. We can relate to the customers because we’re the same people. And so when we poke fun of people in the Northwest, we’re really poking fun at ourselves… I am absolutely the ‘Blue Tarp Camper’!”

Chances are, you either know someone who fits one of the many Pemco profiles- or you ARE one of these profiles. How many “Relentless Recyclers” have you come across at the PTA meeting?

Since these Pemco ads are for insurance after all, the humorous profiles naturally include the type of vehicles that us Northwest people drive. The “Bumper Sticker Idealist” drives a 80’s era 2-door Mazda (aka Mazdaratti), while the “East Coast Transplant” rolls down 520 in the BMW.

Well thought out and uncanny in their accuracy, the Pemco WALLY ads have struck a nerve.

“We hear from people, that they love such and such a character,” claims Osterberg. “They say ‘That’s Me!'”

There are numerous profiles to be seen. Check out the We’re A Lot Like You site for the complete list.

Here are the unofficial top 5 Pemco profiles, courtesy of the staff:

1. Accidental Tech Millionaire
Spotted: Getting Testa Rose Detailed at the Country Club.
Vehicle: American SUV
This guy hit the dot com jackpot and doesn’t have to work again. This is number #1 because it sounds like people we know at

2.4 Way Stop, You Go. No You Go. No You Go Guy.
Spotted: When you least have time for it.
Diet: Anything out of a slow cooker
Vehicle: If you’re behind it, you’ll get a good long look.
Everyone gets the right of way, in this passive-aggressive display of patience and politeness.

3. Marymoor Off Leash Dog Lady
Vehicle: Station wagon with a head out.
Diet: Iams and a double latte.
Could be seen saying to a dog, “You’re so attentive, and best of all you never interupt like some silly selfish self centered man would. That’s a good boy. That’s a good, good, good, good, good, good boy.”

4. First Snowflake Freakout Lady
Vehicle: 4x4SUV, with snow chains, flares,and an extra 200lbs of sand in the back.
Perfectly good AWD’s… abandoned! More bundled up than an Iditarod winner. Visiting Alaskans and Spokanites want to slap her.

5.Pony Tailed Software Geek
Vehicle: Aging Japanese sedan.
Diet: Nacho chips and highly caffeinated soda.
An avid fantasy gamer. Proficient in many languages such as C++, Javascript, and as an added bonus speaks fluent Klingon.

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2 Responses to “Pemco Insurance Ads Have Seattle Drivers Figured Out”

  1. AZman on March 3rd, 2009 2:39 am

    I have one…
    How about “International District Double Parker”
    The guy/gal who just doesn’t have time to find parking like the rest of us when picking up their food orders to go.
    Vehicle-something that has good Hazard lights because they’re always using them.
    Can be seen running into a restaurant with a credit card in hand and darting back out with styrofoam containers of moo-shu pork, orange chicken and MSG filled meals. Gotta hurry…I could get a ticket for parking there. Only done in Seattle’s International District, it’s the only neighborhood where it’s more the rule than being rude.

  2. Nikki Nickell on February 3rd, 2012 12:45 am

    You hit the nail on the head with your “wood -stacker guy”. He is my next door neighbor. And he just does it automatically as he stacks it. I love the ads! Maybe you could try one with people walking to their cars in shirt sleeves. I have never lived anywhere where it takes temperatures lower than 30 degrees for people to wear coats and jackets.

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