In recent years consumers have seen a trend of marketing campaigns that are anything but traditional. From Old Spice to Direct TV, modern companies have had to become increasingly creative with their marketing strategies in order to distinguish themselves in our competitive markets. Of course, marketers have been thinking outside of the box forever, but I think it’s fair to say that modern companies have taken that approach to new levels. There is one company in particular; one who arguably initiated the shift to unconventional marketing, and who continues to succeed with it; Geico.
Geico has been delivering some of the most memorable ads for over a decade, all stemming from the Martin Agency. The Martin Agency developed Geico’s ingenious ad campaign based on the common consumer mistake of pronouncing “Geico” as “Gecko” in 1999. They decided to roll with it, creating the first sketches of the now famous “Geico Gecko”. They knew that animals were a great way to connect a consumer to a company. The Gecko kick-started this light hearted approach to advertising that has proved to be a truly revolutionary way to market an insurance company.
So, why are Geico’s seemingly ridiculous advertisements such a success when they have so little to do with the company? Well, while traditional advertising simply gives the consumer information about a product or service, Geico’s ads engage the consumer through humor. These ads build Geico’s brand through name recognition. Geico spends upwards of a billion dollars per year on advertising in order to get their brand in eyes of the public and consumers welcome the witty comedy. These advertisements are like a deal with the audience; entertainment in exchange for hearing the message. Furthermore, Geico’s ads may not say much about their products, but they always manage to hammer home Geico’s main strengths; cost savings or ease of use. Everybody knows “15 minutes can save you…” and “So easy a caveman can do it”.
Geico also uses the most branded characters at one time then probably any other company in the history of advertisements. The Gecko, the Cavemen, the Camel, “Kash”, “Question Guy”, and various talking objects, are among them. Each has a unique style connected to a coinciding message. This multi-faced strategy keeps their ads fresh so the viewer never gets bored.
Geico has one of the most successful ad campaigns in history. And as long as were fixated on these types of advertisements, they’ll keep spending more and more.