Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share

24 January 2019

Best of GEICO ads highlighting the problem

There’s a whole lotta advertising entertainment showing lately on our televisions. GEICO is showing its greatest hits, attempting to prompt watchers into voting on their favorite GEICO ads of the past.

Oh, there’s the camel hoping everyone will recognize that today is Hump Day. There’s the caveman and the gecko. And the pig screaming, “Wee wee wee” all the way home.

GEICO adsSome of the GEICO ads are memorable. Many are funny. Go vote if you’re so inclined.

But they do nothing, and have never done anything, for the GEICO brand.

In the fact, the GEICO ads represent what is infecting so much of TV advertising today. They’re all entertainment with only a few actually doing the hard work of stealing market share.

They’re only useful in raising awareness. That’s the only place advertising for entertainment sake means something. Especially if the brand is embedded in the ad itself. (A few rarely are.)

“GEICO spends more than anybody, shelling out more than $1 billion on its GEICO ads. Just so you can be amused. But not switch carriers.”

But the GEICO ads don’t need to raise awareness. We all know who GEICO is. If you’re looking for car insurance, GEICO is probably in the considered set.

GEICO ads don’t steal market share

Yet, market share doesn’t change. For one thing, consumers rarely switch insurance companies. Switching is seen as cumbersome and pointless. Would it be any better with State Farm, Allstate or…GEICO?

So, to encourage consumers to switch to your brand, you must mean something emotional and different from the competition. And, right now, there is so little difference between the brands you couldn’t slip a piece of paper between them.

Could you make the argument that there’s a difference in tone between the brands? Not really. State Farm also adopts a humorous tone, whether it’s Aaron Rodgers and his clueless agent. Or She Sheds. Progressive has Flo and her ragtag team of losers. Allstate can be more serious with Dennis Haysbert but opts often for Mayhem.

Yet, market share doesn’t change. The car insurance category remains relatively stagnant. The brands are spending so much money on ads just to play defense.

GEICO spends more than anybody, shelling out more than $1 billion on its GEICO ads.

Just so you can be amused. But not switch carriers. So, yeah, chuckle at the spots. But the GEICO ads are worth nothing more than that. A chuckle.

See more posts in the following related categories: Insurance advertising


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