A great television ad can provide chuckles and amusement as well as encouraging a customer to purchase a product, subscribe to a service or otherwise take action. Over the past decade or so, some of the funniest and most talked about television ads have been for the insurance company Geico. You may think that insurance is not something to laugh about. However, Geico, with the help of the advertising firm The Martin Agency, has found some creative ways to make saving on insurance seem like a lot of fun. Look back at five of the funniest Geico ads (in no particular order) and get ready for a laugh.
- Happier Than a… (Hump Day!) – This is a series of commercials that promises that choosing Geico will make you happier than some certain individual. Examples have included “a witch in a broom factory,” “Dracula at a blood drive” and “Christopher Columbus on a speed boat.” However, one of these commercials really went viral—Geico’s “happier than a camel on hump day.” This may become the best-remembered advertisement of 2013. As of October, 2013 the official Youtube video of the ad has received over 17 million hits and an unofficial fan site for the Hump Day Camel has over 47,000 fans.
- Geico Gecko – The Geico Gecko, who was originally voiced by Frasier star Kelsey Grammer, was created in 1999 when an actor’s guild strike created the need for ads without human actors. Since that first ad, the gecko has starred in dozens of ads for the company–making him one of the most recognizable mascots in advertising. An unofficial fan page on Facebook for the Gecko has over 300,000 fans.
- The Cavemen – The cavemen ads were created to hype how easy it was to get insurance from Geico online—”So easy a caveman can do it.” These cavemen were insulted by the phrase and spent many commercials proving how sophisticated they could be. These ads became so popular they actually spawned a television series—though it only lasted for six episodes.
- I’ve Got Good News – This series of ads by Geico showed an actor or actors in a humorously bad situation and then ended with the character stating, “I’ve got good news—I saved 15% on my insurance by switching to Geico.” The underscoring message to these ads was that no matter how bad someone had it, they could appreciate the savings that Geico provided.
- Maxwell the Pig – This is the series of Geico ads that everyone loves to hate. Maxwell the pig has created quite a controversy. This pig originally just said Wheeeeeeee! but since he premiered, he went on a date, got pulled over by policemen and has made fun of Alec Baldwin. This series has inspired much controversy, including from the conservative women’s group One Million Moms which stated the commercial with Maxwell on a date is particularly offensive. But, in the world of marketing, sometimes even bad publicity is good.
These are just a few of the Geico ads that have inspired smiles and sold insurance over the last few years. The team of advertisers who created these commercials have made a big splash in the world of marketing. If Geico can make insurance commercials funny, there is no reason your next marketing campaign can’t be just as interesting. The best marketing materials make viewers or readers forget they are being sold something. Work with your advertising team, find freelance writers with a great sense of humor and make your potential customers chuckle–it could pay off in spades!