Would you buy an insurance policy from this man?
THE green-haired guy on the doors of six elevators at the Ward Entertainment Complex is not a menehune. His name is Deetric, the new mascot, or icon, for Hawaii-based DTRIC Insurance Co.
The company affectionately refers to him as "the dude."
Deetric is reminiscent of the naked troll and Wishnik dolls that became popular in the 1960s, but he is way more human-looking and is clad in board shorts and a seat belt.
Also, there is no indication that his hair contains Icelandic fleece, which his 3-D predecessors are said to have had.
COURTESY DTRIC INSURANCE CO.
Hawaii-based DTRIC Insurance Co. has a new mascot, a green-haired guy named Deetric, pictured at the Ward Entertainment Complex.
It's not that he doesn't appear to be multi-dimensional -- the artwork around him is intended to look as if he is inside the elevator, inviting observers to ride with him. Ride, get it? DTRIC sells car insurance, as well as homeowners, renters and workers' compensation coverage.
DTRIC competes against 800-pound national gorillas and wanted to cut through the clutter of competitive advertising messages, but it doesn't have a gorilla-sized advertising and marketing budget.
"We had to come up with a way to create the most buzz for our buck," said Linh DePledge, DTRIC vice president of sales and marketing.
Deetric made his official debut April 17, but he didn't appear on the Ward complex elevators until Friday, just before a busy shopping, moviegoing, restaurant-dining and entertainment-seeking weekend.
DTRIC was approached about ad placement by Adwalls LLC, which has an agreement to place large-format outdoor advertising at Ward and other locations, within the limits of local aesthetics-preserving, anti-billboard laws.
DTRIC jumped at "the opportunity of being the first company to advertise on elevator doors, where the complex is so busy, so well-traveled."
"It's perfect timing with the summer blockbuster movies; we're going into the busy season and I think we're going to get a lot of play for that," she said.
DTRIC is also wrapping company vehicles with Deetric's image, which "was overwhelmingly beloved right away" by a focus group, DePledge said.
Deetric was among a few candidates conceived by Pennsylvania-based Harte-Hanks Inc., DTRIC's advertising agency, and was the one that the focus group connected with best.
Participants told DTRIC they liked Deetric "better than the gecko (of competing insurance company GEICO)," she said.
Even though they were making a comparison between the two, DTRIC decided it could build on the dollars GEICO has spent for consumers to make the connection between it and its own icon, she said.
is a reporter with the Star-Bulletin. Call 529-4747, fax 529-4750 or write to Erika Engle, Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210, Honolulu, HI 96813. She can also be reached at: email@example.com