Innovation. Ideas. Insight.

Geico – Multiple Personality DINU

In DINU on May 12, 2008 at 9:36 am

Who doesn’t love Geico ads? You know, the ones with the celebrities and the consumers? Or maybe the ones with the talking lizard. Or the cavemen. Or the older ones that looked like fake Fox reality shows.

(Click on the links to view some of my favorites) 

Wait a second, that’s four distinct concepts, all done with a startling level of depth and consistency. Isn’t Geico breaking some serious marketing law here? You can’t possibly create four different campaigns, and then run them virtually concurrently, speaking to the same audience. And yet, Geico must be doing something right, Warren Buffett is a big investor.While the Gecko may be the most ubiquitous, the Cavemen have really developed into a Deeply Immersive Narrative Universe (DINU). From a super-clever website, Caveman’s Crib, to an ABC television show, these guys became part of pop culture (try typing roast duck mango salsa into Google). 

Most companies would be pretty excited with a hit like this. But Geico has another powerhouse with the Gecko. Now, I understand when a brand like Nike creates multiple advertising campaigns. They are speaking to a variety of audiences – women, young kids, skateboarders, weekend warriors, etc. But the Geico customer is a narrower group. And from a tonality standpoint, are the different Geico campaigns that different? Are there people who love the Cavemen, but think a talking lizard is dumb? Are there people who like fake reality show spoofs, but find the idea of the Four Tops singing in your bedroom absurd?

I see the benefits for Nike in creating multiple DINUs. I could even see it for Geico (one for men, one for women, one for first time drivers, one for 50+…). But that’s not my take-away from the current Geico ads, they all seem to appeal to a broad audience and it seems to be working. Puzzling. Are they an exception that proves a rule?

  1. […] 10, 2008 by Rick I’ve written about Geico in the past, admiring their ability to maintain multiple personalities. However, the latest Caveman ads have me scratching my head.  Geico has spent a lot of time […]

  2. […] 23, 2008 by Rick I’ve written about Geico in the past, both praising and condemning their advertising and the multiple Deeply Immersive Narrative Universes they have […]

  3. ” If you work hard on your job, you could make a living. If you work hard on yourself, you could make a fortune. Your income is primarily determined by your philosophy, not the economy. Success is something you attract by becoming an attractive perso…

  4. Geico does a great deal of TV advertising. If it was all gecko or all caveman consumers would probably burnout quicker. Both campaigns I’m sure were tested and scored high, and continue to do well, so they’ve kept both. If one campaign ever starts losing public interest they still have the other.

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