Apr 07, 2015
Geico understands today's audience.
Back in 2010, YouTube rolled out their TrueView program, which was designed as a ‘best of both worlds’ for advertisers and viewers alike. The new system allowed users to skip unwanted pre-roll ads, while simultaneously allowing advertisers to only pay if the entire ad (or the first 30 seconds, whichever came first) was viewed. TrueView, while challenging to advertisers, was welcomed by viewers, who cherished the option of skipping any ad they didn’t find engaging. Over time though, TrueView may have worked too well, as statistics show only around 30% of YouTube’s viewers watch the pre-roll ads. The other 70%, unfortunately, are skipping them.
That’s where Geico comes in.
Since the advent of their iconic Gecko in 1999, Geico has become one of the top forces in advertising. In 2012 they spent $1.1 billion on their various campaigns. They’ve known right from the start how to grab an audience, hook them and keep them coming back. That’s pretty impressive for a company that sells car insurance, which isn’t usually the most enticing of products.
Objectively, the most important part of any pre-roll ad is the first five seconds. This is the window where a viewer will decide if they should engage in the ad or press ‘Skip’. To that effect, Geico has recently unveiled a new ad campaign that not only capitalizes on these first few seconds, but also may reinvent pre-roll ads as we know them.
Directed by Terri Timely, this joint venture between Geico, The Martin Agency, Park Pictures and Whitehouse Post is a piece of minimalist brilliance. They understand how little time they have to grab the viewer and they know how to use it. There’s something compulsively watchable, almost hypnotic, about these ads – hence the campaign’s name: ‘Unskippable’. These ads are eerily subtle, self-aware and absurdly hilarious, almost like cut scenes from Too Many Cooks.
Geico may really be on to something here. They not only understand how important the first five seconds of a pre-roll ad are but they perfectly encapsulate that importance within a series of ads that will feel right at home in this ironic, post-modern culture. These ads are fresh, innovative and best of all, they may shine a light on just how creative a company can be with their pre-roll ads, especially those first five essential seconds.
Check out Geico’s new ‘Unskippable’ ad campaign below:
Source: Adweek, The Next Web, YouTube