GEICO Gecko makes iAd debut with $10M direct response ad unit

MobileMarketer reports:
The Wheel of Wisdom

GEICO is taking advantage of all the unique features of the iPhone in its $10 million iAd advertising effort, which is a combination of branding and direct response marketing.

For the campaign, the GEICO Gecko asks consumers to spin his Wheel of Wisdom. The game-show style interface lets users consult the Gecko about a wide array of life issues without having to exit the application they are in.

“We want to make it easy for consumers to access the content they desire, regardless of what screen or device they choose,” said Kathleen Montecinos, interactive media buyer at GEICO, Washington.

“More and more consumers are designating their mobile phones as their device of choice, so we plan to maintain a presence in mobile advertising for as long as this is the case,” she said.

Creative execution
GEICO – or Government Employees Insurance Company – is a member of the Berkshire Hathaway family of companies and is the third-largest private passenger auto insurer in the United States. It provides auto insurance coverage for 9 million policyholders and insures more than 16 million vehicles.

Because GEICO’s aim was to provide iPhone users with a unique experience, it took its time through the creative process. GEICO brought on CDG Interactive to help lead the charge.

CDG was responsible for conceiving the Wheel of Wisdom concept for the iAd. GEICO was one of iAd’s charter advertisers, paying at least $10 million for its campaign.

“The iAd mobile network gets our content in front of mobile users in a refreshing way,” Ms. Montecinos said. “It is advantageous to participate in an advertising network with innovative creative that is both fun and full of energy without disrupting the consumer’s original experience.”

Through the iAd platform, iPhone users may see a banner ad in certain applications inviting them to spin the Gecko’s Wheel of Wisdom.

In addition to receiving wisdom from the iconic Gecko, users will be able to download special wallpapers and ringtones and watch the latest GEICO television commercials.

Additionally, consumers can download the GloveBox and SnapQuote applications directly from the iAd to get GEICO insurance quotes and manage policies on the go.

An interactive map is also available to locate GEICO offices.

“The Gecko’s Wheel of Wisdom iAd unites many of the iPhone’s capabilities into one experience,” Ms. Montecinos said. “Our iAd incorporates custom in-ad mapping, inline audio, in-ad app downloads, audio indicator toggles and a viral email component to name a few.

“We hope the experience we’ve created is seamless to iPhone users as they break from the application they were using to now engage with GEICO,” she said. “We used functionalities and transitions familiar to iPhone users to present a proficient combination of both branding and direct response marketing.

“We look forward to getting results on the various benefits from each marketing component as well as getting user feedback on the ad.”

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