The “modern home insurance” brand Hippo recently created “Away Mode”, an Alexa skill that activates one of seven “awkward” conversations when enabled, ostensibly to trick would-be burglars ala Kevin McAllister.
But while it is a real skill, it’s actually designed as advertising to generate awareness for the three-year-old brand.
According to Hippo, “Hippo was looking for a way to engage a broad audience in a conversation about home security and home insurance. We figured it was easier to drive awareness and education through humour“.
Why It’s Hot:
First, it’s another example of “innovation” as advertising. And while stunts are nothing new in advertising, this is the first time a brand has used Alexa as the chosen platform on which to execute one.
But more importantly, it’s a beautiful way to emphasize its point of differentiation. Hippo bills itself generally as an insurance company with a different outlook, as a “tech company” that “leverages Smart Home technology to prevent disasters instead of simply responding to them”, and its insurance “protects smart home appliances and electronics”.