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You Can Learn a Lot from a Caveman

May 18th, 2007 by rosie · 3 Comments

You have got to hand it to GEICO. Not only are they the fourth largest auto insurer and growing, but they managed to turn something dull like car insurance into a form of entertainment. GEICO has single-handedly sparked “caveman mania” with their caveman marketing campaign. There’s even a website dedicated to the cavemen’s chic pad . The insurance carrier’s cavemen commercials are so popular (hey, I have to confess that we always stop and watch one when it comes on to get a good laugh), that now ABC is supposed to be producing a sitcom based wholly on the GEICO commercials. For GEICO, or any other business, that’s a dream come true when it comes to marketing. This sitcom will be another form of advertising, not-so-subtly reminding viewers to buy insurance from GEICO.

GEICO, or Government Employees Insurance Company, a subsidy of Berkshire Hathaway, has taken a unique approach to marketing itself.

First and foremost is the sheer volume of advertising. GEICO’s strategy is to saturate the market with print advertising (circulars), radio ads, and the various television advertisements. It seems that you won’t get through a day without being bombarded with GEICO ads everywhere you turn, and that’s because there’s big money in car insurance and the competition is fierce. Unlike other industries, auto insurance had no niche – every driver is a potential customer. GEICO knows this and does a good job of getting it’s name out there to the masses.

Second, GEICO’s ad campaigns offer a broader range of appeal to target as many drivers as possible. There are the more serious ads aimed for older drivers, and then there are the more humorous and/or unexpected ad campaigns that are designed for younger drivers. If you don’t find the talking gecko humorous and informative, then maybe you prefer the celebrity spoof commercials like the ones featuring Little Richard or Charo. Or how about the “good news” commercials – you know, the ones where a person goes though something very bad but they still say they have good news because they just saved a lot of money on their car insurance. Then again, you might just be a caveman fan. Whatever your preference, it seems GEICO has a commercial for you.

Lastly, and I think most important, is that GEICO succeeds in setting itself apart from other insurance companies. Unlike other insurance carriers, with serious and boring television ads, GEICO’s ads are certainly more entertaining and humorous. Sure, some ads come across as annoying (for me it’s those celebrity ads, for others it’s the gecko with the British accent), but some are really funny. Like the Caveman commercials. Not only do they make for good commercials, but there is a sitcom spin off in the works for ABC. Setting yourself apart from your competition and creating a fad in American pop culture- now that’s advertising success.

GEICO’s 3-point marketing strategy – Volume, Variety, and Vagary – has helped make an underdog like GEICO the fastest-growing major car-insurance company in the nation, with sales jumping to $11 billion from $2.8 billion in 1998. It is certainly a strategy worth learning from, especially the third tier (setting yourself apart from your competition with a unique approach). A final thanks to GEICO; as a result of it’s unique and effective marketing campaign America now has a new and (hopefully) funny sitcom to look forward to.

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    Tags: Business How-To's · Marketing · News · Running a Business

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    Comment by Cade
    2007-05-20 04:40:37

    Those are amazing commercials. There should be more like them and whoever is in charge of their marketing should be given an award. They have had some amazing adds for several years now. I often wonder if people even know if Geico does auto insurance because there is so much focus on the Cavemen.

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    Comment by Rosie
    2007-05-20 12:44:01

    Exactly! The Martin Agency is behind the caveman and gecko ad campaigns.
    To turn something like insurance into entertainment is pure genius! If all ads were like those, then people would not bother with TiVo!
    I will definitely be waiting to check out the Caveman sitcom; hopefully it will be as good as the commercials.
    Thanks for your comment.

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    Comment by Dave
    2007-05-20 18:30:53

    The cavemen are awesome. I hope more companies follow in their footsteps and make memorable commercials. So far Beer companies, ESPN, and Geico are the only consistently good commercials out there.

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