There is a TV commercial out now that always makes me smile. And it makes me happy. It’s Geico’s happy camel on Wednesday, aka Hump Day.
“Uh-oh. Guess what day it is? Guess what day it is.” Who doesn’t love a talking camel? And it really looks like he’s talking! “Mike, Mike, Mike, Mike, Mike…” I smile as soon as this comes on. And I stop and watch it. Every time. Wow! That’s one happy camel.
Can a commercial have such a happy effect? This one sure does. It’s one in a series that is all about making you happy. It’s Geico’s “Happier Than” campaign and the brand message? Thanks to the extra money you’ll save by switching to Geico car insurance, you will be happy, too.
“A good advertisement is one which sells the product without drawing attention to itself.”
The great advertising guru, David Ogilvy, said that. And it applies to Geico’s advertising strategy. Geico started out during the Great Depression providing auto insurance to federal employees. It is now the third-largest U.S. auto insurer. How did they get there? They built their brand identity with name recognition and got noticed in a very competitive category. They made their message stick in the consumer’s mind with a compelling message coupled with a whimsical and entertaining approach. By appealing to consumers this way, Geico is standing out in a cluttered marketplace.
The Martin Agency says about its ads, “People can now accept more complex brands with multiple, distinct narratives highlighting various aspects of the brand.” The gecko, the cavemen, the whee! pig. And now the camel. Making all these characters human and likeable while maintaining the brand messaging has been key to their approach.
Another one that makes me smile and happy has Eddie Money happily running a travel agency where he gives his customers, yep, two tickets to Paradise. “I’ve got two tickets to Paradise. Pack your bags we’ll leave tonight.” C’mon, how cool is that?
Applying humor for a product that doesn’t inherently make one laugh (hello, car insurance)? And making it memorable, too? Isn’t that what good advertising is supposed to be? This ad sure is memorable. And not only do you remember it, it makes you smile when you do.