Friday, June 26, 2009

Flo vs. the Gecko

I can't possibly be the only one who makes note of which commercials grate on my nerves when they appear on my tube. Everyone probably notices the annoying aspects of TV ads such as loud celebrity spokesmen, irritating jingles, or even just the amateur nature of local ads. I hope I'm not the only one, however, who takes notice of good commercials, or at least favorite ones (determining "goodness" is subjective).

Everyone remembers Mastercard's "priceless" commercials. I consider them to be among the classiest commercials: simple, classic, adaptable, and most importantly, memorable. I would imagine that few people have a bone to pick about those ad campaigns. Based on my own informal research, (discussions with family and friends) I have found that there seems to be some polarization over recent commercials created by the big insurance companies.

The insurance industry seems to be more drawn to creating series of commercials with well defined characters and themes. A few come to mind. Metlife has adopted Charles Schultz's Snoopy. Allstate has a trustworthy-looking African American actor giving their pitch. Insurance giants, Geico and Progressive have the cavemen an
d the gecko, and Flo. The first two of these companies may have a good product, but don't seem to attract loyalty for their ad campaigns. In contrast, Geico and Progressive have created followings for their characters. My informal research shows that those who are fans of the Geico commercials dislike the Progressive ones and vice versa. Personally, I'm in the Progressive camp.

Maybe I'll discuss each of the campaigns in more detail later. I wish I had access to metrics detailing the success of each campaign, or just to be a fly on the wall in a marketing meeting at one of the companies. For now, I just wanted to make note of the interesting trend. Maybe I'm in the correct market segment to be a Progressive fan and Geico people have different characteristics. I'm not alone, however, in being a fan of Flo. There's even a facebook group for her following, not that there isn't a facebook group for anything and everything these days.

What commercial characters do you find yourself becoming attached to, or even just simply not finding yourself annoyed by their interruption of your favorite program?
I think it's worth the time to appreciate good marketing, even if it's just to keep from being frustrated by the clutter ads can create.

Progressive Commercial featuring Flo

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