After 40,000 GEICO Ads, I Think I’ll Call Liberty Mutual Instead


I often see or hear a dozen or more GEICO ads a day, as I learned from doing a “brand inventory” assignment at Columbia last summer.

That means that I’ve been exposed to more than 40,000 geckos, cavemen and googly-eyed stacks of money over the past decade. 

But none of those ads, or offers to save me 15 percent on my car insurance, has moved me. And that’s because I don’t feel like a “GEICO person” in the same way I’m not a Windows or Chrysler guy. 

I thought of that at the gym yesterday when a single Liberty Mutual ad—even with the sound muted on the treadmill TV—nudged me to consider: “Maybe I should call those people.”

Of course, something more complex happened. Liberty Mutual has been subtly courting me for years with its “responsibility” theme, and “pay it forward” and “do the right thing” campaigns.

Those ads made me open to becoming a “Liberty mutual person.” The company’s new “car wash” ad—which cleverly pitches first-time accident forgiveness—gave me a reason to call, and broke down a psychological barrier to switching insurance carriers.

Props to Liberty’s communications team for melding a sales pitch into its distinctive brand strategy. Come to think of it, attracting “responsible” customers sounds like a pretty smart business strategy, too.