Sunday, May 6, 2012

The Gecko's Chicago Accent

Have you seen the Geico commercial set in Chicago?  I mention it in this blog because it is a perfect example of target marketing - a message designed for a specific group of people.

In case you haven't seen it (click to view on YouTube), the Geico gecko is walking along a downtown Chicago street with the El overheard. He feels Chicagoans will pay more attention to his message if he speaks with a Chicago accent.  The balance of the commercial, except for the tag line at the end, is delivered in flawless south side Chicago. (If you don't believe the accent is authentic, search out some old video of Mayor Daley and you'll be convinced.) The closing has the gecko commenting that Chicagoans have a funny accent.

I love a good ad and this is one.  It entertains, it delivers its message clearly, it is memorable, and people around here sure are talking about it. 

The Martin Agency in Richmond, Virginia is responsible for the gecko ads and, IMHO, the series is brilliant. It has won awards for its work, but importantly, it wins customers for Geico.

Perhaps the Chicago ad can only be appreciated by those of us who live here or originate from here. Considering the local buzz, I have no doubt that Geico picked up enough new customers off that ad to pay for its airing.  And that's the whole point of good communication. Getting people to listen to the message and act on it.

The gecko made its first appearance during the 2000 television season. Unlike another long-running ad campaign that lost site of its original premise growing stale and contrived (think battery-operated toy bunny), the Martin Agency writers stay focused on why the gecko is out and about. Their ads work because they are fresh and new while delivering the on-going message about affordable insurance.

It's all about communication. The gecko ads do that and we are listening - when we're not laughing.

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