When a big consumer brand has an even larger media budget, and the will to use it, viewers hope that the company’s ads do not annoy the living hell out of them.
It’s a hope that is often unfulfilled.
Did you know that American television viewers are asked to endure approximately three hours of advertisements in a 10 hour viewing period, twice what they would have seen in the 1960s? There’s too much advertising and too much advertising is crap.
How Do You Know When You’re Highly Annoying?
If you ask the same question over and over again, like a petulant child, chances are good that you are highly annoying. Take this question: “What’s in your wallet?”
What’s in your wallet is no one’s business.
Capital One’s rhetorical question has been asked so many times now that Americans have this pernicious bug in their ear. It’s like hearing Styx on the radio and then having “Fooling Yourself” replay for hours in your head. An ear bug of this variety requires a deep musical cleansing. Sadly, it’s not as easy to wash away the stains left by a bad ad campaign.
Capital One, as you might expect, has plenty of company in the badvertising category.
The above commerical from Discover Card is too painful for words.
Make Better Choices: Be Consistently Entertaining
GEICO has a monster media budget, like Capital One and Discover. Unlike Capital One and Discover, the insurance company’s ads are ubiquitous but welcome. The ads are welcome because The Martin Agency identified several themes with unlimited potential from an execution standpoint.
GEICO’s gecko is like a beloved sitcom character. We want to know what sort of humorous trouble he’s going to find next.
So people do not tire of the gecko, GEICO mixes things up with its unbelievable series. This campaign allows for infinite interpretations of the idea. So many things in this world are hard to believe.
There’s also room in GEICO advertising for traditional demos, where features and benefits take center stage. This spot is focused on the GEICO app’s ease of use, but thanks to the brand’s make-believe universe of geckos and stupid human tricks, GEICO’s standard demo is something more.
There Is Accounting for Taste
Compare GEICO’s rich stew of storylines to Capital One’s moldy bread and Discover’s millennial yell.
Capital One’s campaign relies on a tired tagline, celebrity talent and unrelenting repetition. GEICO, on the other hand, wants to entertain people, so the brand is welcome on screen and part of the viewer’s consideration set when it comes to buying insurance.