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Geico Advertising Appeals Essay

Out of the many appeals that companies use to advertise their product or service, the need to achieve is one of the most commonly seen. In our highly competitive society, everybody is trying to get ahead. Everybody is looking for that little advantage that will push them forward.

The appeal of achievement correlates with success and winning, ideas that represent the outcomes of hard work on which people like to pride themselves. In many of their ads, Geico likes to tap into our competitive nature by offering us incentives, such as saving time and money, which speak specifically to our consumer culture. Such a tactic proves to be effective because for the most part, consumers in our ambitious society like to be frugal and fiscally responsible. Nobody wants to spend an extra dime if they do not have to. Simultaneously, customers do not want to spend all day looking for the perfect insurance.

They know that time is a finite resource and it must be spent wisely. In order to persuade customer’s into buying their insurance, Geico effectively utilizes the achievement appeal because it resonates with their goals of saving time and money. In most of Geico’s commercials, they are able to address their audiences need to achieve with a simple slogan: “15 minutes could save you 15 percent or more on your car insurance.” This message that sells their customer’s on their service, however, is not seen until the end of the commercial. For most of the commercial the time is spent entertaining the audience in a humorous way.

Take for example the viral “Hump Day” commercial. Throughout the ad, a camel who can talk walks through an office building asking and bugging the workers about “What day is it?” Since he is a camel with a ‘humped’ or arched back, the advertisers suggest that that the camel is referring to ‘Hump Day’ or in other words, Wednesday. This is followed up by two men who are playing the guitar with each other. In an attempt to illustrate the point of the commercial, one of them asks the other “how happy are people who switch their car insurance to Geico?” which is then followed up by “happier than a camel on ‘Hump Day.” Although the appeal of humor is meant to grab the attention of the target audience, their main reason for choosing to use Geico’s service is the feeling of achievement that they derive.

In Jib Fowles’ essay “Advertising’s Fifteen Basic Appeals” he cites ‘the need to achieve’ as one of the 15 strategies which enable advertisers to reach their audience. For most consumers, the market place is seen as a competitive territory where whomever comes out having spent the least amount of money is the victor. Thus, Geico effectively advertises its service by highlighting the opportunity to “save 15 percent or more on your car insurance” by switching to Geico. Not only do they illustrate the money that can be saved, but also the time. Along with the ’15 percent’ that can be saved, Geico also mentions that this can be done in ’15 minutes;’ a relatively short amount of time

. As a consequence, Geico puts their consumers in a win-win situation because “the person who manages to buy something at fifty percent off is seizing an opportunity and coming out ahead of others” while they enable them to do it in an efficient manner (Fowles). Geico’s use of the ‘need to achieve’ appeal is characterized as the most reasonable way to solicit their service as it takes nothing away from their customer, while it gives them everything in return; they don’t have anything to lose. However, humor, which Fowles labels as a stylistic feature, is most prominent in order to incite the interest of car owners.

This commercial, in particular, is known for its comedic success. The ridiculous camel has become a viral sensation as it is now considered amusing to yell out “Hump Day” on a Wednesday. In fact, the commercial has over 16 million views on Youtube. Ultimately, Geico does a great job of exposing its overall message about achievement sense the build up to their trademark slogan is so appealing in itself. If 16 million people know about a camel yelling “hump day,” then 16 million people know about the time and money that can be saved by using Geico’s insurance. Jibs’ appeal of achievement is one that correlates completely with our society. We constantly strive to compete and win while we admire those who reach the pentacle of their field or profession; even if it is about something as minimal as saving money

. Geico, in particular, gives people the incentive to achieve by offering people them the opportunity to save their time and money, and they respond accordingly. However, it is not the promise of ‘getting ahead’ alone that attracts their target audience; humor, is a fundamental component that is used to grab and keep the customer’s attention. Apparently, Geico does this better than anyone. What better way is there of holding a car owner’s attention then by having an obnoxious, talking camel yell “Hump Day!”? That was a rhetorical question; there is not a better way. Geico is just the best.

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