A pre-roll ad is a video advertisement that automatically plays before the chosen content. This kind of ad is considered annoying; 94 % of people skip YouTube pre-rolls because they hate them.

Most ads fail to hook people in the first 5 seconds when the ad is unskippable. People are bothered to watch the ad, so they open up another tab and wait for it to end.

The second-largest car insurance firm in the USA, “Geico” brings into the spotlight the annoyance of people from pre-rolls, so it ends before they can skip it. The viewer watches the entire ad. It’s an ad that goes straight to the point in just 5 seconds, Geico tells the viewers they didn’t have to skip the ad because it was already over. 

The campaign was smart, it pushed people to watch the ads to the end, and made them willingly look for it on YouTube.

The concept of the campaign is sending the message in the first 5 seconds, then make the actors freeze, without minding their surroundings. 

The first ad is a family having dinner when the woman remarks savings, Geico’s name appears and tells viewers they could save money on car insurance. Then it ends. 

What happens later catches the viewer’s attention and pushes him to see the extended version of the ad where the family is frozen in time, while their dog eats all their food.

The campaign had four ads: Family, High five, Cleaning crew, and Elevator.

First Geico owned the annoyance factor, making people not only love the ad but share it on Social Media. Then they made a series of ads, leading to variety, to not make viewers bored. And they used irony, making fun of pre-rolls. 

Results of the Campaign

It’s one of the most successful campaigns ever:

  • More than 14 million views.
  • The ad generated 725,000 organic YouTube views in one day.
  • 33 Industry awards to date.
  • AdAge’s 2016 Campaign of the year.
  • New York Festivals International (NYF) 2015
  • Cannes Lions Grand Prix in Film 2015.
Client: Geico

Agency: The Martin Agency

Group Creative Director: Steve Bassett

Copywriter: Wade Alger
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