Tuesday, January 26

New Geico Advertising

I've been noticing the new Geico advertising for several weeks now, but totally hesitating to comment. At first I didn't really get the ads, and I didn't think that they stack up with some of the more classic advertising from what is now an iconic brand. The caveman made it into pop culture, with spoofs on Saturday Night Live and his own television show. Brands don't come by those things easily.

With the previous campaigns, I would frequently reference how the brand created three distinct executions, all with the same brand voice and character, to appeal to three psychographics in their target markets:
- those who want service (celebrities dramatizing high service scenarios)
- those who want ease and convenience (so easy a caveman can do it)
- those who want low cost (the gecko)

I don't know for a fact that this was the brand's intention, but as a marketer that's how I would dissect the work.

Now along comes a campaign with executions that feature The Waltons, Charlie Daniels, and Elmer Fudd with copy about low cost -- I didn't get it at first.

Then it hit me. It's merely about the brand personality and character. The new Geico advertising is about continuing its strong voice in the category and its completely ownable personality. No one in the category can touch it. Geico is a great example of using personality to differentiate in the marketplace and to create a connection with consumers. I even talk about how to use brand character to build an ownable brand experience in my upcoming marketing book, "The Experience Effect." I should have seen it right away!

Of course the new Geico advertising is consistent and makes sense -- did The Waltons take forever to say goodnight?

What's your experience? Jim.

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