Everyone has a favorite GEICO commercial. The one that sticks in your brain and makes you share it over and over with friends and coworkers. This likability has turned GEICO and its advertisements into a pop culture phenomenon. Here, we take a look behind the scenes at some of our favorite GEICO spots.
Pre-roll advertisements on YouTube aren’t known for their effectiveness—you can just skip them after five seconds. So GEICO decided to put the end of the commercial—the punch line—at the beginning.
“We did each scenario with something that was fun to freeze-frame on,” says Steve Bassett, group creative director at the Martin Agency, which makes GEICO’s popular ads. “The dialogue was meant to feel hokey and you’re coming in on the end of the joke, but a really lame joke.”
The commercials became so popular, an actor in the Family spot was invited to do a Q&A on the popular website Reddit.
It’s What You Do
GEICO’s It’s What You Do campaign offers a cinematic, playful approach.
Take “Tarzan”, for example. In the commercial, Tarzan and Jane prove that no matter whether you’re on a highway or in the middle of a jungle, you fight with your better half over whether or not to ask directions. When you’re a couple, it’s just what you do.
And while the GEICO logo typically appears as a graphic overlaid on the shot, Bassett says it was the director’s idea to feature it as a three-dimensional object in the scene, to give viewers something they hadn’t seen before.
GEICO’s advertising message has always been the same: a 15-minute call could save you 15 percent (or more) on car insurance.
Having some fun with this slogan, GEICO ran a series of ads featuring bad news, followed by the famous 15-minute line. In one commercial, a judge finds a man guilty of embezzlement (among other charges), and then announces the good news: he has just saved 15 percent on his car insurance by switching to GEICO.
A member of the Martin Agency says he was once on a plane when a pilot riffed on the commercial. “I have some bad news,” the pilot announced. “It looks like we’re going to be delayed 45 minutes here on the tarmac.” When a collective groan went up throughout the cabin, the intercom clicked back on and the pilot continued: “But I do have some good news. I just saved 15 percent on my car insurance.”
This kind of humor and smart messaging has made GEICO commercials so memorable to audiences around the world.
What is your favorite GEICO commercial? Share with us below!
Visit the GEICO YouTube channel to see all of our current commercials.