Geico Finally Got Me

I knew that the advertising dollars for Geico car insurance were really paying off when the guy in front of me at airport security was pulled aside by TSA and the airport inspector announced, "Well, sir I have good news and bad news for you. ... The good news is that I just saved a ton of money by switching my car insurance to Geico. The bad news is that you have a bottled water in this backpack which I'm going to have to take."
But admittedly there are a ton of Geico ads (like every other one on TV) that I just never got. Why would I want a gecko to sell me car insurance? He looks so small, he'd be squashed in traffic. And that's not an event I want related to my car.
And those cavemen?
This Slate article solves the mystery of the seemingly most disparate advertising campaign ever. Essentially, the author points out that when you look at the people who need car insurance, we're a really motley bunch. Grandmas in their Camry's; hip-hop wannabe's in their souped up wheels; teenagers; new college grads with no money but the car their parents handed down to them as a "gift" or curse.
Who is Geico selling to? Pretty much everyone—man or woman, gay or straight, black or white, hip or hick. If you drive a car, they want your business. Even extremely broad brands, like Coca-Cola, still have niches they're trying to dominate (it's mostly young people who drink sugary sodas, for example). But car insurance companies know no niche. We all drive. We all have insurance (I hope). And we all stay insured through every stage of our lives—no matter our mood or marital status or income.

Tonight, Geico finally got me. (Because, again, those caveman ads were just getting weirder.) About time too, since they've apparently spent $140 million on advertising between January and June 2007.
Ben Winkler, born in 1983, is a grown-up Cabbage Patch Kid, whose car insurance decision helped turn around his downwardly spiraling former child-star life. Watch below.
My first Cabbage Patch Kid, Marcie Bessie, was also born in 1983. I am the parent of a 24 year old. I keep her in my storage unit. In there, she is doing ok without car insurance.


Andra Sue said...

Ugh. GEICO ads. I detest the cavemen (and how their new Fall sitcom will ever survive boggles the mind), I don't really like the Gecko...and now the grown up Cabbage Patch Kid? Frankly, I find it creepy. :(

I'm sticking with USAA.

Jean Therapy said...

Haha, I was just about to comment on the pending arrival of the Caveman show on ABC. I almost spit out my Crystal Light when I saw the ad. I thought it was a joke. I guess not. Sad.

Claire said...

Oh, yeah I should clarify that I'm not actually going to change my insurance b/c of these ads. The cavemen - ugh.

I am also sticking with USAA.

Anonymous said...

A Geico blimp cruises by my office window about once a week now.
I like blimps, so I'm thinking of switching. USAA doesn't have blimps.
I'm going to try to get a picture of the blimp this week as it cruises in front of the 2-story Geico billboard also very visible from my office window. They are so multi-dimensional! Genius!


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