You've probably gotten pretty used to seeing the Peanuts characters on MetLife sales and marketing materials, in its commercials and other ads, and prominently displayed on its blimp. But after 31 years of using Snoopy & Co. in its advertising, the life insurance business is parting ways with the characters, the Wall Street Journal reports. MetLife first began using the Charles Schulz cartoons in an attempt to connect with US customers, but next year, the company will be spinning off much of its US life insurance business into a company called Brighthouse Financial, and from there on out MetLife will mostly only sell to corporate clients in the US. "We brought in Snoopy over 30 years ago to make our company more friendly and approachable during a time when insurance companies were seen as cold and distant," says a MetLife exec in a statement, per USA Today.
MetLife spoke to more than 55,000 customers in eight countries as it decided on a new marketing approach; its new logo will feature a blue and green "M" symbol and the tagline, "MetLife: Navigating life together." Snoopy won't disappear immediately; MetLife acknowledges it may take some time to get the characters off of all the materials, including notepads and business cards, on which they appear. As for the blimps, after this year MetLife won't be using them at all. "We have great respect for these iconic characters," the exec says. "However, as we focus on our future, it's important that we associate our brand directly with the work we do and the partnership we have with our customers." The Journal has more in the MetLife changes, which were made in order to help the company do better financially in the face of stiff federal regulations. (Read more MetLife stories.)