Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Unveiling Our New TV Ads!

Here's a first look at our new TV ads!

Each ad comes in two parts. Each part is 15 seconds long, with the parts designed to bookend around a 30 second commercial by a different advertiser.

This is the first part of our firefighters ad:

And the second:

Now, the first part of our teachers ad:

And the second:

We're currently developing a law enforcement ad as well.

Stay tuned!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Philosophical Man in Blue

When a police officer chronicles their profession, one usually expect a fair amount of cops and robbers, good guys and bad guys. Some action, some drama, some excitement. Not a lot of intense reflection.

Unless you're Phil.

Phil, last name not given, is a patrol officer in Los Angeles. Hardly the easiest city to protect and serve. Yet he does so, taking time to record his thoughts on Twitter and his blog.

Phil writes with a dry wit that at first glance can come off as disaffected, yet upon further review reveals a level of thought seldom seen. He doesn't blog often, but when he does it's a treasure trove of expressed ideas and philosophy. For example:
The content of what I'm writing, the idea I'm toying with, is all expressed in the words you're reading on this page. And yet, imagine if I stripped out every period, comma, and paragraph spacing. Imagine how tedious and frustrating it would be to read without punctuation. Our holidays, whichever we choose, are the punctuation in our years. They are the pauses, the breaths, the dividers and emphasizers in our lives.
Another post talks about the futility of seeking revenge:
I think some people I deal with crave any form of power or control they can find in their own spheres of influence (in fact, this phenomenon takes place in various forms in any class or culture, I'm sure). The victim suffered a lack of control in being victimized, but in stoking the fires of a grudge, they've suddenly transformed it into power. They're the ones pulling their own strings now and the more passion they can wring from the offense, the longer they can keep that illusion of control.
Phil doesn't post very often in his blog: two, maybe three times a month. Each one, though, is a gem. Can't recommend his writing enough.

Monday, December 20, 2010

More Photos From Our Upcoming TV Ads

As mentioned last Thursday, we're filming some new television commercial to debut next year. Here are some more photos from filming:

Some photos from the filming of CSE's new commercials. Each commercial will feature either a firefighter, teacher or police officer talking about the advantages of being insured through CSE.

On this day (Wednesday December 15th), all parties took advantage of the sunshine to film the firefighter commercial.

The director checks the sound levels.

Almost there!

The firefighter relaxes between takes...

... and studies the script.

VP of Market Strategy & Business Development Matt Hull channels his inner Cecil B. DeMille as he checks out the sound and picture.


More filming.

And more filming!

Friday December 17th, while the weather outside was frightful - it poured rain all day - inside it was a perfect time to film the teacher ad.

Another view of the teacher ad set.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Some Snapshots From Our Super-Secret Photo Shoot

Actually, it's part of our next round of television ads! More details coming soon.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Fruitcake From... When?

It sounds strange, but in many countries around the world fruitcake is a highly prized dessert. In the United States it's a fate worse than death.

Many a story has been told about the longevity of fruitcake, this stemming from two reasons: the lengthy shelf life fruit enjoys when treated with high concentrations of sugar, and the even lengthier life cake itself enjoys when soaked in brandy or variations thereof. This has led to many an interesting moment over the years when tee-totaling family members suddenly break into a rousing chorus of "Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer" shortly after dessert.

The unquestioned king, or queen, of fruitcakes belongs to the Ford family, no known relation to Henry Ford. The story goes that late in 1878 - yes, 1878, not 1978 - one Fidelia Ford baked her annual fruitcake for her children and grandchildren, with the idea it would be served the following Thanksgiving as many believe a properly preserved fruitcake improves with age. Alas, Filedia shuffled off this mortal coil prior to Thanksgiving 1879, one of the results being her grieving family deciding they would set her fruitcake aside until the following year as they couldn't bear to consume this memento. Next year, same thing. And the next. And the next. And the next. Next thing you knew... well, suffice it to say the fruitcake is still with us, something that anyone who's ever tried to actually eat one usually says for several hours afterward.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Should A Line Be Drawn When Looking At An Employee's Online Life?

As has been mentioned here several times, we're a big fan of social media. When used properly, it is a valuable tool to keep in touch with agents and insureds alike. The ease of instant communication through Facebook and Twitter make them perfect for the dissemination of information, along with views of and opinions on the topics of the day.

The issue of privacy online is a constant theme in social media circles. When someone posts something on the Internet, unless it is encrypted or hidden behind passwords and such it is out there for anyone who runs across it to do with as they please. Youth is constantly reminded to be more circumspect on what they share, and with whom.

Where things become clearer is in usage of social media by employees of any given company. When you're on the company network, the company has the right to monitor online activity to ensure their employees are not involved in illegal or time-wasting practices when they're on the clock. Some privacy advocates have cried foul, but the general acceptance is an employer is fully within its to keep tabs on, and if need be prevent, certain online behaviors.

But what about potential employees?

A recent article in Insurance Journal examines how some companies specialize in the burgeoning field of online background checks. It searches for information posted in any one of several forums -- Facebook, Twitter, MySpace (yes, it still exists), blogs, comments on other people's blogs, message boards and so on -- to see if there is anything that indicates whether a given individual is someone worth hiring.

The problem is at what point does this cross over into an invasion of privacy. Does an employer, current or potential, have the right to use material posted online by a current or potential employee that is unrelated to the job as a consideration in regard to that job? The argument goes like this: if you and your friends quaffed a few last weekend, and someone grabbed their phone to snap some pictures and put them up somewhere, recording how things got a little crazy, unless you show up hung over, or don't show up at all, for your next scheduled day at the office is it anyone's concern but yours? The counter argument is that an employer has the right to know if an employee's off-duty habits are detrimental to their work performance, therefore it is acceptable to look around and see what people are up to on their free time.

What do you think? Is an employee's online life away from work something in which an employer should take interest? Or is it no one's concern but the individual? Leave a comment and let us know your opinion.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Presenting The Winners In Our 1st Annual Holiday Card and Calendar Contest!

There were a lot of tough calls, but here are the four youthful masterpieces that we're grateful to have adorn our holiday cards this year!

Grace Borg
Age 6
Daughter of Kyle Borg
Allegiance Alliance
Glendale, AZ
Isabella Rose Fraher
Age 6 1/2
Granddaughter of Bob Fraher
Philip J. Fraher and Company
San Francisco, CA
Sabrina Katarjian
Age 11
Daughter of Mireille Mary Katarjian
United Agencies, Inc.
Pasadena, CA
Melodie Lo
Age 9
Daughter of Ada Tang
All Homes Insurance Services
San Jose, CA

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Getting Ready To Select The Winners In Our 1st Annual Holiday Card and Calendar Contest!

We're approaching time to vote for our winners in our 1st Annual Holiday Card and Calendar Contest!

It's going to be a tough call as well have several excellent entries. Submitted for your consideration are the final two entries received:


Winners will be announced shortly!