Overcoming Inertia to Create Positive Behavior Change


Despite a record-setting hurricane season in 2020, only 20% of residents in Florida, Texas, and Louisiana have flood insurance. Most people had already decided that flood damage is a risk they’re willing to take. FEMA came to us with big questions:  how can we get more people to purchase policies through the National Flood Insurance Program?  How do we generate awareness, interest, and engagement online with a product that most people have dismissed as unnecessary?


Psychological and behavioral research suggests that most human emotions lead us to be impulsive, prioritizing immediate or short-term gains over benefits that might be realized in the future. But pride is one of the few emotions that drives better long-term decision-making. That became our the core principle of our work for FEMA: to activate pride.


Working with behavioral and data scientists at FEMA and our partner, Deloitte, we created an advanced market segmentation study that enabled us to target the key markets we needed to connect with based on flood risk, product penetration and household income levels.

The “&”

We partnered with local artists to create original artwork and visuals that authentically conveyed the unique look and feel of each community—underscoring the local pride angle.

the Results

Since our product’s sell in process was complicated—it was sold by agents, not available for purchase online—we initially focused on metrics that gauged our progress on moving consumers through their decision-making journey. We exceeded industry benchmarks across several digital engagement metrics.

In addition to these successful engagement metrics over the past two years, we’ve also started seeing a positive impact on policy sales, which increased almost 6% year-over-year in some of our most competitive markets.


Digital Display Click-Through Rates


High Impact Click-Through Rates


Video Content Completion Rates


Paid Search Click-Through Rates