As advertising professionals, knowing what makes a great advertising campaign is in our job description. There are many elements of a successful campaign that all work together, from the tagline to the creative concept to the production and everything in between. In my honest opinion, however, the most important element of a great advertising campaign is how well the creative concept flows throughout different mediums. In other words, how can you take one idea and effectively make it work for print, radio, television billboards, etc? This is what separates the good campaigns from the great.
A campaign that I feel has done this masterfully is the Geico Money Eyes campaign. You know, the one where the wad of money has eyes and follows people because “it’s the money you could be saving with Geico.” Geico has always been a pioneer in unique and intriguing advertising with their caveman and gecko campaigns, and this is no different. You really have to wonder what it would have been like to be in that brainstorming session when someone came up with the idea. As great as the concept itself was, the execution was even better.
The ads originated as a national television campaign and took off from there. The next step was to successfully incorporate the idea to fit radio, print and billboards. So how does one take the visual element of a wad of money with eyes and make a radio spot that still has that same visual effect? Geico does it effortlessly through what we like to call in the advertising business a little “theatre of the mind.” In one ad, a guy is interviewing the stack of money before he realizes that the money can’t talk. He then asks the money to blink once for “yes” and twice for “no.” Finally he laughs, yet frustrated saying "did you blink once or twice because I blinked and I missed it.” Cue the fun dance song “Somebody’s Watching Me” that plays in every commercial and you have an ad that’s funny and original while still keeping with the creative theme.
The billboards ads are simple yet effective. Just a picture of the money creature and the tagline, “The money you could be saving” as if the money is staring at you on the road while you’re driving. The print campaign is what really impressed me, though. Sure, Geico could have taken the easy route with just a normal print ad, but instead, they spiced it up a little. In our local newspaper, the Savannah Morning News, you’ll find a pair of familiar-looking eyes sticking out of the side of your paper, staring at you before you even open it. As creepy as they are, it’s hard not to at least smile to yourself and immediately hear the song in your head that has become so synonymous with the commercial. All in all, Geico does a wonderful job of incorporating their now-famous money creature campaign into multiple mediums. And just for fun, here’s one of my favorites.