Geico Gets Goofy




Geico ads are most famous for the Gecko, one of the strongest Fluent Devices in the business. But that’s far from the only thing they do. They also have built a following for their 20-30 second comedy sketch ads, which have become so popular they have their own channel and have built a community of fans who argue about their favourites.

It’s a two-pronged approach which works to the insurance brand’s benefit. The Geico Gecko is an icon and an instantly recognisable distinctive asset, which builds familiarity for the brand and entertains consumers. But by running his ads alongside many other funny ones, Geico ensures constant visibility and share of voice in a competitive marketplace without wearing out its iconic character.

Those non-Gecko ads have to be good, though. Fortunately, they are. Geico ads regularly hit 4- or even 5-Stars. The latest one, “Hair”, is for their Boat Insurance arm, with three friends out on a fishing trip when their hair magically reverts back to its youthful style.

Surreal? Sure. Goofy? Yup. Geico ads don’t need to make sense – they just need to make you laugh. The brand is now so associated with funny ads that it can drop the message in right away and people stick around for the joke.

“Hair” also works because it’s a deliciously right-brained ad. One scene. Lots of dialogue and betweenness. And some great use of cultural references with the 80s hi-top fade and ‘Flock of Seagulls’ haircuts. (Oh, and not a Covid-19 reference in sight.)

Geico have been doing this kind of thing so well and so long that it’s easy to take them for granted. But we shouldn’t. Remember that this 4-Star ad, creating great emotional response, is for Boat Insurance – one of the most niche and least glamorous markets you can imagine. But Geico make it fun, just like they always do.