The first tiny house.

Is this Method Acting or Pissed Off Acting? From where I’m sitting, behind the director, it’s hard to tell.

We have crammed our two actors into a five-foot-high set built on a Hollywood soundstage. The house looks like a real house, only tinier. And the director keeps asking for one more take.

In the spot, two newlyweds are supposed to become increasingly frustrated and angry. Like I said, the set is only five feet high. The actors are stooping, contorting, and hitting their heads on the ceiling while also trying to deliver their lines.

Is asking for one more take one of those director tricks? If so, it’s working. These two “newlyweds” won’t last another hour in Tiny House.

A few days earlier, we shot a commercial about a glue so strong, it glued a grand piano to the ceiling.

The idea behind this Geico campaign is simple. Watching TV is great. But it won’t save you any money on car insurance. Instead, just take 15 minutes and call Geico.

For the idea to work, the spots we’re filming have to be pitch perfect. They have to look and sound like the real thing.

The reality show we created is called Tiny House–years before there would be real TV shows about real tiny houses.

People in bars are great focus groups. They’re drinking. They’re having fun. They’re watching football on big screen TV’s. The last thing on their minds is paying attention to the commercials. The Tiny House “promo” came on. I overheard two women sitting at the bar.

“There’s no way I’d spend a year in a tiny house with that jerk. Not for alI the money in the world. I wonder what time it comes on?”

The question is, have we done our job too well? The women at the bar don’t even realize it’s a Geico commercial. No, I conclude, we’ve done our job just right. Geico will run the commercial a lot and not just in noisy bars. People will get the Geico message loud and clear.

Instead of hard selling car insurance which is already a low-interest category, we first get people on Geico’s side. It’s one of our long-term brand strategies. People buy from brands they like. Judging from Geico’s rise to number two in the category, people seem to like Geico a lot.

Published by bassetts49

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

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