GEICO Still Gets It 10 Years Later

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GEICO's Kash
GEICO's Kash

Ever wonder how a gecko became synonymous with car insurance? It actually happened by accident. GEICO introduced the popular little lizard ten years ago in a national ad campaign that captivated America. The idea was born out of a brainstorming session because the company name “GEICO” was often mispronounced as “gecko.” The rest is history.

Many awards have been won for GEICO’s ads. Who can forget the GEICO Cavemen campaign introduced in 2004? Saving money on car insurance is so easy, a caveman can do it. Now the $15B Berkshire Hathaway subsidiary has introduced Kash, a stack of money with bulging eyes reminding motorists of the money they can be saving using GEICO.

Why has GEICIO been so successful? Simplicity. The company has proved that a good promotion doesn’t have to be filled with complicated or elaborate themes, which may make for good commercials but fail at gaining broad consumer awareness. The GEICO brand today is well known and truly stands out against its competitors, although Allstate’s “Good Hands” tagline has gained traction, albeit 50 years in the making.

Is there a lesson to be learned here? The reality is that we live in a society where consumers are bombarded with marketing messages for countless products and services. More importantly, the media landscape has dramatically changed with the rise of the Internet and social media, creating a communications universe where people seem to be intrinsically connected. All the more reason for marketers to pay attention to GEICO’s strategy and create simple, straightforward campaigns that cut through the marketing clutter. Otherwise, they’ll surely be lost in the black hole of cyberspace.

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