You can’t skip this ad.

Remember when you couldn’t skip ads on YouTube? You came for videos of cats playing the piano or dads falling off of stuff. What you got was a 15-second pre-roll commercial that was usually just a cut-down of a TV ad you’d seen dozens of times before.

The brilliant creative team working on the project at The Martin Agency started by asking some intriguing what ifs.

What if we made online ads exclusively for the online environment?

What if we made online ads that rather than being a distraction were a destination?

What if, instead of 15 seconds, we got the sell out of the way in the first five seconds?

And finally, what if we made our online stories last up to a minute or more? People could opt out at the 15-second mark or anytime they wanted. They were in control.

The online ad below is part of a campaign that “froze” the action as if the ad were over. But the story was just beginning. to unfold. And the Geico logo? It stayed up, front and center, the whole time.

Geico’s dog ad won a Grand Prix at Cannes. And it helped break new ground not only for Gecio but also for other brands who began turning the limitations of online advertising into advantages.

Don’t get me wrong. I love Geico’s unskippable campaign, and according to the analytics, so did millions of other YouTube viewers. It’s truly a breakthrough idea.

I don’t know, maybe it’s just me But you know those videos of dads falling off of stuff? They’re still pretty hard to beat.

Published by bassetts49

50 years in advertising, 20 years as the creative lead on Geico. A life in creative thinking.

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