Snoopy may have defeated the Red Baron, but Met Life just shot America’s most beloved dog out of the sky – and the TV airwaves.
Yes, the giant insurance company is dumping Snoopy and the rest of the Peanuts gang from its advertising and marketing efforts, including its blimps, after a 31-year relationship.
Now, before you go starting a petition or a boycott, understand that Met Life has a good reason from parting ways with the cartoon cuties. Their job was to help the company make an emotional connection with consumers. But Met Life is spinning off its US retail insurance business to focus on selling group insurance plans to employers, including life and dental coverage.
That move reduces the company’s need to mass market to the public. So, in addition to saying adios to Snoopy and crew, Met Life will also stop flying blimps over football games, golf tournaments and other Big Events. The change in marketing direction will eventually save the company serious cash. Insiders say the current Peanuts deal, signed in 2014, costs Met Life between $10 million and $15 million a year in licensing fees. (I think I just felt the heirs of Peanuts creator Charles Schultz shiver!)
The cartoon kids aren’t the only folks exiting Met Life as a result of this upcoming change in direction. The company earlier this year sold a network of 4,000 agents to Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance.
OK, if this makes you really sad, and you need someone to blame, you can make a case that the federal government is responsible for grounding the Snoopy blimps and nixing all those sweet Met Life ads with Charlie Brown, Lucy and the crew. Met Life spun its retail insurance into a separate company to avoid being labeled “systemically important” by federal regulators. That designation, part of ther regulation that emerged from the 2008 financial meltdown, would have imposed strict capital reserve requirements on Met Life.
The least the government could do is help Snoopy find a new gig. After all, he is a decorated veteran!
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