Originally known simply as “Peak XV,” Mount Everest, at 29,035 feet, offers views from the highest point on earth. In this blog, our leadership team brings you up-to-date and relevant perspectives on industry happenings, what’s in the media and executive insights. Read on, and enjoy the view from the top.

Friday, July 20, 2007

How many geckos and cavemen have you seen lately?

One of my favorite commercials right now is the Geico campaign with cavemen. It really doesn’t get any better than a caveman in a psychiatrist’s office wanting to put his mom on speaker phone. And, I can even hear the music of the commercial with the “airport scene” running through my head. I don’t know if you call that branding or brainwashing.

At any rate, I found it interesting to learn that Geico’s $500 million advertising campaign has paid off with big dividends, according to a recent Advertising Age article (subscription required). With an increase in advertising spending by 75 percent since 2004, Geico now ranks number one in the industry for new customer acquisition. The next biggest spender was Progressive with a $265 million advertising campaign. Of the top four players—State Farm, Allstate, Progressive and Geico—Geico was the only company that achieved double-digit growth in the last four years. It is obvious that there is a pay-off for advertising spending (and having a solid brand). It is important to also remember that while advertising provides the big bang, public relations is a slow and steady course to tell the full story and build a relationship with the target audience. After the cavemen are dead we will always remember the public relations brand that has been ingrained in our consciousness. And, even a caveman can figure that out.

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