Some ads become more persuasive over time, given that it can take longer to evaluate logical arguments. “Back to Basics” by Allstate has a look and feel of nostalgia marketing on the surface. While this could prove true for older generations, I was not alive in 1931. By looking at the images, I assume that I was not alive at any point displayed in the ad.

Allstate does tend to target an older demographic because many have accumulated items worth protecting and can afford expensive insurance. So, for its primary market, this ad may provoke nostalgia, but I think Allstate planned to use “Back to Basics” in a more literal sense.

Specifically, it refers to basic human needs. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs describes how humans are motivated by universal needs and categorize those needs into five levels. In theory, the bottom levels require attainment before the upper levels get any consideration.

The bottom-most category includes basic survival needs, air, water, food, sleep, and shelter. The second level is humans’ need for safety, which provides security and health. Love and belonging, family, friendship, and community are found one level above security.

Allstate uses images of friends getting together and children playing to trigger humans’ evolutionarily hard-wired needs for safety, security, and well-being while at the same time reminding us that we cannot fully enjoy the parts of life that bring us the most joy until we alleviate the mental and emotional stress associated with feeling unsafe.

The feeling of uncertainty about what the future will bring creates anxiety stress. To relieve it, we try to control as much as we can. Is this not the concept of insurance?

Many policyholders will never need to file a claim, but the dollar amount could be a staggering sum for those who do file. People seek comfort in knowing they have the necessities for survival, including a safe, secure environment.