Geico - Advertising Management

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The average person encounters more than 600 advertisements per day through an expanding variety of media. As GEICO’s V.P. of Advertising, I understand that choices must be made. We simply can not afford to make mistakes. Our ads need to be effective. The basic premise is that we want our ads to be noticed and memorable resulting in action taken by the consumer. A creative brief has been designed and will be utilized as a ‘road map’ in helping us answer two important questions – One “Who are we talking to?” and Two “What do we want to say?”

The creative brief begins with identifying the objective of the advertisement. Geico wants to increase brand awareness and provide enough information in their ads that will result in the consumer switching from their current insurance provider and go to Geico. Through the use of advertising, Geico wants to let consumers know that they offer better priced insurance polices than any of their competitors. They also intend to create the perception that insurance can be a simple and hassle free process by purchasing with them.

A goal of any company is be effective and efficient in communicating to their target audience. The creative must therefore know and understand who their target audience is. Insurance companies have perhaps the broadest target audience of any product. Who is Geico selling to? As the company’s core service offering is auto insurance, pretty much everyone! Man or woman, black or white, young and old. While their focus is primarily on people aged 24 – 64 years old, if you drive a car, bottom-line is they want your business! Because of this, Geico needs to run a number of different advertisements in order to reach the different groups of people. Geico uses a shotgun approach to hit different demographic groups. The tamer advertisements that deliver straight forward information win over older audiences while the more absurd off-the-wall ads cater to the younger generations. Geico knows it has more than one target market, so it has developed a campaign for each important audience.

After the creative has a clear understanding of the target audience, a message theme can be created. The theme should answer the question, “What is the single most persuasive or most compelling statement we can make to achieve our objective stated earlier?” Geico focuses on one unique selling point rather than multiple points as this is one way to create an effective advertisement. Geico’s unique selling point is the focus the company has on creating value and savings for their customers. This theme is presented through their famous slogan “15 minutes could save you 15% or more on car insurance”. While the model and context of their ads may change, the message of savings stays consistent. The message theme also matches the target audience and the overall IMC message. Support is the fourth step in the creative brief. Support is what “backs your message up”. It makes the consumer believe that what the company says is in fact true and may give that extra boost in persuading the consumer to go out and purchase the product or service. Examples of common support include guarantees, reviews from real users, attached quotes, etc. Geico uses a number of these support “tools” including reviews from real users on their TV and radio commercials and personalized attached quotes on their website.

The final step in the development of the creative brief is the identification of any constraints that may exist. Since Geico and other insurance companies have a number of legal items attached with the process of selling insurance, disclaimers and other claims need to be stated in their ads as well as other promotional tools.

With the five components of the brief in mind, the creative can move forward and prepare the ad. Advertising executives have many things to consider on the creative end of the ad. There are many theoretical approaches that can aide the creative in the...
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