Big Money Ads! (or, Creative With Reptiles)

Happy Holidays!

I thought I’d write an aricle making fun of television commercials during the Christmas (and football) season! Then something odd happened … on a few levels!

Who likes insurance companies? And on top of that, who likes commercials that don’t have anything to say … like insurance company commercials? When you think, they have so much money they can produce high-end commercials that don’t need to sell anything – that don’t say much about the product … who likes that?

statue of libertyLiberty has a big statue behind the actor, who’s acting often seems like “just complaining” for 30 seconds … but at least they score big in name recognition.

The problem with many insurance company commercials is they don’t brand strongly, especially the “funny” ones where you don’t know what the ad is for (also true for “a-loud-song-with moving-pictures” ads). If the purpose of the ad is just to make a nice impression with a skit followed by logo, some of these spots are excellent … but I often don’t know what’s being advertised! This trend is also strong with Apple, Google and Samsung. The strategy is to drop the logo at the end but make whatever you want with the body of the spot.

Mood ads.

Geico has its lizard, and Progressive its nanny-lady. So the gecko comes in 2nd after the stoic Statue of Liberty, and people know the lady with the 50’s haircut, but maybe not what her company is …

Then Geico, with leftover money, did a few un-lizarded ads. While a couple ads sans cartoon critter seems like an arbitrary idea, it freed-up the hired humorists, which was good … and bad … at the same time!

randy jacksonYou’ll see … in the sense of bad … a TV ad with Randy Jackson, a bass player best known for his stint as judge on American Idol. He did win a Grammy as a producer and seems like a nice guy. But this wildly-unimaginative ad simply has Jackson pretending, poorly, to be a judge at a dog contest, which, all by itself, is supposed to be funny, but isn’t, based on Jackson sometimes using the word “dog” as a friendly thing to call someone.

This ad is real waste of time – a “dawg!”

But the funny thing remains! And it’s from the same team! While also without a trace of lizard, and branding poorly (because of the “skit” nature of it), Geico’s other geckoless entry is a gem. It features what appears to be a trained sloth, one with perfect comic timing, playing pictionary with a room of humans. This is a real classic!

geico slothI can imagine people at parties all over the world … recommending Geico to their friends based on this great ad … and all the jokes people will be making with their adjuster-friends that have the punch line “it’s a tandem bicycle!”

So, in conclusion, my advertiser friends … unless Geico puts its gecko on a bike riding for its life away from a drunk and angry sloth, the trained funny monkeys at the greatest lizard company have accomplished an excellent ad I will remember forever … and tell my friends about … but alas, it has no genuine or arificial reptile to bring the name home!

dragon flyingA holiday toast to the lizard! The lesson is, make people laugh and they’ll love you for a minute … but give them a slippery lizard that resembles your name … and you can justify buying all those TV ads!

… or … maybe the gecko could climb the statue in a quickie remake of “King Kong” with a tiny 50’s lady dancing in its little lizard paw …

Monkeys give me a call!

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