Skip to main content
BrandingMarketingShop Talk Blog

The GEICO gecko is talking to me

By October 8, 2012No Comments

Rest assured I haven’t lost my mind.

But of a certainty, the GEICO gecko IS talking to me.

GEICO is running two ads; one on TV and the other a radio spot and I promise the gecko is talking to me.

That’s the power of targeted messaging.

GEICO is using a cartoon familiar to Generation Xers in an attempt to increase market share. I absolutely love seeing The Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote again. (Meep. Meep.) Infusing the GEICO gecko into the commercial was brilliant in my book.

The radio spot I heard a few weeks ago was another targeted message, this time to Houstonians. The GEICO gecko mentioned our Art Car Parade and suggested someone should create a gecko art car. I was impressed to hear the little guy talking about our local event; something specific to the place I call home. I haven’t switched insurance companies yet but GEICO certainly has my attention. Why? They’re targeting their message directly to me. They’re using icons I’m familiar with and they’re knowledgeable about my city.

You can have the same effect in your business.

It’s no secret that targeted messages to a demographic do better than a mass marketing effort. The Association for Psychological Science even did a study to show that targeted messages created for different personalities within that same demographic did even better. Big companies with time and resources may be able to segment the market in this way but smaller companies can simply benefit from crafting messages that directly target their audience(s).

Here’s how:

Speak your audience(s) language – Become familiar with vernacular used by your audience. Include it in your marketing message and whatever you do make it feel natural, not obvious and contrived like some blogging attempts to use every key word attached to their product or service in one post.

Familiar icons – Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote are friendly, pleasant and familiar icons from my childhood. As far as I’m concerned it was Saturday morning TV at its best! Using familiar icons can help connect your product or service to your audience.

Use local flavor – The Houston Art Car Parade is such a beloved and well-known event, it was the perfect tie-in for GEICO. Research local events that tie into your product or service and be seen as the company who is not only connected with the business of their key audience but also connected to what goes in their community.

Speak to where the are – I recently wrote about another set of commercials that used effective messaging. These ads spoke to my new role as a mom with an adult child. I still love these commercials. State Farm and Toyota portrayed moms like me pursuing a life outside of our children and it resonates! Know what stage of life your key audience is in (works well if you’re B2C) and bring that into your message.

The power of the targeted message can mean the difference between meeting and exceeding your sales goals or missing the mark altogether.

Leave a Reply