Commercials you won’t click out of – Creative Excellence Fridays

Skip adIn the old days you didn’t click out of a commercial. You simply got up, walked into the kitchen and made a sandwich. When you came back the ads were done and Lee Majors was ready to save the world for a paltry 6 million dollars.

Fast forward to 2015. The majority of successful companies now have YouTube channels. Finally, a place where people can go and watch commercial after commercial without those annoying program and sandwich interruptions. And then companies realized, after seeing startling click away statistics, “Hmmm, maybe people aren’t waking up in the morning with the sole purpose of watching all our commercials online.”

In the age of YouTube, shrewd adcrafters have figured out that online commercials are a different cat, or in this case, geico.  Geico has  been leading the way in humorous brand category advertising in the insurance industry for years. But earlier this year, after seeing click away statistics for online ads,  they kicked it up a notch.

This is the age of the online commercial.  But 85% of YouTube Trueview streams are skippable after 5 seconds.  And as David Waterhouse of iMedia connections pointed out, 94 percent of people skip pre-roll ads after that five-second mark.  Geico took this to heart and thought, why not have some fun with this idea. The result is very silly and very watchable. More importantly, you find yourself like a deer in headlights and you can’t look away even after you can click out. It’s brilliant and adhere’s to the golden rule of remembering to get your unique selling proposition out there early so the comedy doesn’t water down the sell.

That ad goes beyond absurd. You can’t help but stare at the eyeballs of the characters and wonder where this is going, and how many takes this took.

Here’s ad # 2 in the series.

It does feel a bit like Naked Gun and Airplane with the humour just being on a whole different plane (no pun intended) of ridiculous.

And finally, “The Barbecue”.

It’s the little touches. The sandal dropping off. The running shoe setting on fire. The smokey gagged coughs.
And people have to respect the fact that Geico put these together with a wink and a prayer. The viewer knows Geico got one over on them, and no one minds.

Credits – Geico “Unskippable” was done by the Martin Agency.


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Tim McLarty - Ontrack Communications Inc.

About the author

Tim McLarty is creative director at Ontrack Communications in Toronto. He’s a podcaster, and his background includes 9 years as professor of media creation at Humber College and 17 years as a broadcaster across Canada.  Ontrack is a media studio creating video, motion graphics, audio and podcast content.  In his spare time he makes short films and travels to any country that will have him.