Wednesday, September 11, 2013

go ahead, ask me what day it it...



Before getting laid off, and over a couple of pints with co-workers, I had threatened to come into work on my last hump day dressed like a camel. Alas, my employers made my last day of work a Tuesday. 

GEICO's new campaign "Get Happy, Get GEICO" has been running now since last year when they rolled out with Gallagher at the supermarket smashing fruit. According to GEICO's wikipedia site there are now 12 of these campaign spots running. By far my favorite has to be the Hump Day Camel. 

GEICO does an amazing job of running multiple campaigns at the same time without ever obscuring their message or value propositions. You've got the GEICO Gecko, the "Get Happy" commercials, Maxwell the Pig, and the Cavemen. Not all brands do this so successfully. And honestly, I bet if I polled 1,000 people today, more than 75% of them have at least called GEICO if not actually switched. I called GEICO back in 2007 during their relatively uncreative "15 minutes could save you 15%" campaign. In the end, they couldn't save me 15%...they couldn't even save me 1%. I was better off with the agency I had. 

Another favorite insurance seller's campaigns I am fond of are the AllState "Mayhem" spots. But, I must admit, I just had to google "Mayhem + insurance + commercial" in order to remember what insurer ran those ads. AllState runs another campaign alongside these, it's the one featuring that black guy with the deep voice as part of their "Connected" campaign. The two campaigns are running at the same time and they're anything but connected. And the brand isn't identifiable through either of them. 

Unlike GEICO, AllState doesn't stick to a singular message, they keep coming up with cute gimmicks, but they seem to be trying on several identities, too, which creates inconsistency, and that's where the brand identity gets lost. 

Then there's that spot with the big offish looking guy who is supposedly a French Model (bonjour).

I had to look this campaign up too - turns out it's for State Farm - as part of their "State of Disbelief" campaign.

I also like several of the Famers commercials that make up their "Smarter" campaign.

And how can you forget their jingle - We Are Farmers! Bum Ba-Dum Bum Bum Bum Bum - this saves them from obscurity. If it wasn't for that jingle, I would have had to google them too.  But between All State, State Farm and Farmers I get confused. So while they're making great commercials, they're not doing as good of a job branding them.

Another insurer, Progressive, does a great job branding. Anytime I see Flo I think Progressive. You could show me a blank box in white blue and orange and ask me what product I associated it with and I'd say Progressive. Do I like their commercials? Eh. I think they've grown pretty tired now. Maybe they should try sticking Flo in another roll (not as Flo) but as someone else. Her face is very identifiable with the brand. And they should keep the color branding. They just need a whole new direction. It's no longer feeling very "progressive" to me.

"So what?" you're probably saying right now...the what is: because of the number of channels now capable of delivering us marketing messages, consistency and repetition are key in branding your image into the conscious minds of your target audience. Look at all the ways you're exposed to media messages on a daily basis: TV commercials, radio commercials, billboards, print magazines, newspapers, in-app ads, email, text mssg,  movie theatre previews, social media, etc.

Public Relations pros used to tell their clients it takes the "power of 3" to make an impression in your customer's mind. Meaning  your customer must see or hear your message at least three time before remembering it. Then that number ticked up to 7, then 12, then 24...I'm not even sure how many impressions a brand must now make before it's consciously registered with its target audience. But it's a fuck ton.

I don't know anyone who has a fuck ton of money right now. So its best you be judicious about where your spend your money. I highly recommend spending it on building consistent brand identity through clever marketing campaigns that you can pull through each medium - from a billboard over the 405 fwy to a shareable youtube spot. 

Now, get back to your hump day. And celebrate responsibly. 

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