Testimonial advertising has been around almost as long as advertising has been around. Usually it follows one of two formulas.
One, hire celebrities to endorse your product. (Entertaining, but does anybody believe they actually use the product?)
Two, hire real people to endorse your product. (Often awkward and not entertaining, but their stories come from the heart.)
When approaching a particularly complex creative challenge on Geico, we often started by asking ourselves one question.
How would Geico do it?
What Geico did was put the two types of testimonials together to turn an old formula on its head.
The real person told their own story in their own words about how Geico’s claim service saved the day.
The celebrity translated the story, using his or her own unique persona to amp up the entertainment and watchability.
Oh, and there was one other thing the director did to turn the dial up to an 11. He shot most of the testimonials in one 30-second take. Sometimes it would take 80 takes to get it right, but by not depending on a second camera to cover up mistakes, the Geico testimonials came off as even more real and more believable.
When you’re facing a particularly thorny creative problem, ask yourself.
How would Nike do it?
How would Burger King to it?
How would your brand do it?