There’s a war going on for your eyeballs, and the debate on how to capture them is hotter than ever.
Advertisers and ad-blockers are face to face fighting for their lives with you, the consumer, trapped in the middle.
Adblocking apps have been used for years, but only recently have they become available on our mobile smartphones, leaving advertisers crying foul and scrambling to find ways to circumvent them.
Advertisers and publishers argue that ads are a necessity, saying that ads are the only way for many publishers to make any money. It’s a business model that has been around since we started printing paper. And for good reason, it works.
Adblockers justify their actions by insisting that ads have become an unacceptable nuisance to consumers, overly intrusive, and have a damaging effect on the viewers overall experience without providing enough value in exchange.
This is where the tug of war begins.
Adblockers block ads, advertisers find ways to circumvent said blockers, who then counter with their own new methods to circumvent the circumvention, and so on. Lather, rinse and repeat. Nothing changes.
The companies who think outside this broken system of repetition and invest into truly understanding their audience will be the ones to succeed in this new battleground.
And that’s where GEICO comes in.
GEICO has been creating successful ad campaigns on your TV screen for quite some time, using quirky props, playful characters, and topical humor to sell car insurance, a product that could not possibly be any less sexy. In the past couple of years, they have spent a great deal more time and energy on online videos.
GEICO is well aware that you hate loading up a YouTube video only to be confronted by a 15 second ad, all the while your finger hovers over that “Skip” button, waiting for the 5 second rule to pass so you can tap it and move on to your video.
With that in mind, they created a hilarious “Unskippable” ad campaign last year with this one being my personal favorite:
While the ad is technically over before the skip button is available, the viewers who stick around afterwards are rewarded with a look at what happens to the characters once they are put on pause.
Now, one year later, GEICO is at it again with a new series of videos tackling a new problem: 15 second ads that viewers don’t want to see, but are not allowed to skip.
How do you keep people from hating your mandatory ads? Simple, just fast forward through them.
Tell me you don’t want to find out what the heck just happened there.
After fast-forwarding to the end, you’ll receive the option to “Click to see what happened”. Clicking that button takes you to the full, minute and a half version of the ad, and it is well worth the click.
You’ve gotta hand it to them. At the very least, GEICO commercials are impossible to predict.
So, what do we learn from this?
We see examples of companies and industries resisting change every day. They cling to archaic business practices and ancient strategies, alienating their customers and ignoring their wishes in the process.
GEICO is an example of a company who is not afraid to adapt. They recognized the advertising landscape had changed drastically and, instead of trying to find ways to force their audience into their predefined mold, blazed a new trail by educating themselves on the new habits of their audience and adapting accordingly.
Lesson learned: Embrace change. Our world evolves at a ridiculously rapid pace. Rather than getting caught up in the past, and dwelling on what you once had, focus on how you can adapt to these changes and leverage them for your own gain. New opportunities are around every corner.