Geico’s latest spot leaves bad aftertaste.

In Uncategorized on June 11, 2012 at 10:25 am

In my early copywriter days, there was a premium on “different for different’s sake.” The more bizarre the idea, the more creative you obviously were.  Then maturity hit, and I actually embraced the notion that, while it was still very important to stand out and be noticed, that only mattered if, in doing so, you built it around a compelling and memorable connection to the product.

As creative director a number of years ago, I was forced to be the clueless adult who missed the “wisdom” of an idea one of my writers had – a “taste test” for a national brand of paper towels. (Interviewer:  “Now isn’t that absorbent?”  Test Subject:  “Psfft -spit-spit-spit.” ) She was convinced it was breakthrough. I just thought it was dumb.

But a recent spot from Geico makes that old paper towel concept a lot better – at least that pretended to relate to a feature  of paper towels. Geico doesn’t even bother.  The subjects simply taste two different drinks, and find out the tastier one “is” Geico, while the other (the foul-tasting one) is Brand X.

GEICO spot

Geico has always fascinated me with its tendency to conduct several different ad campaigns at once. And I have enjoyed many of them. Because they usually connected to a benefit, at least loosely. (I still laugh thinking of the “Abe Lincoln” spot.)  And though I don’t love the lizard, it’s becoming iconic and has a link to the name.

As far as the taste test commercial goes, sorry. I just think it’s dumb.

  1. Gee Mike, just when I thought I had put those days out of my mind forever! 🙂 Anyway, I find the Geico taste test tolerable compared to that stupid State Farm ‘Falcon” spot. The gecko is tired, Flo is tired. I still like the Allstate Mayhem campaign.

    • Whoa, it’s alive! Hi, Dick. Long time. I agree – I think Flo was tired on day two. The falcon is ridiculous, too, but I think I’ve complained about that one here before.

      Mayhem continues to grow on me. And there IS a strategy – it does try to cast consistent doubt on the cheap online competitors. I really enjoy the “watchdog” spot. “Then your friends brought me this awesome bone!”

      Thanks for checking in.

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