The Geico Gecko Can Thank Big Data for His Job
Insurance Experts' Forum, April 9, 2013
An interesting revelation from Geico CMO Ted Ward recently surfaced in AdAge: The talkative little spokesgecko on the Geico commercials is actually a product of big data analytics.
As Ward describes it in an interview with AdAge's Kate Kaye, the Geico Gecko was “actually born in a petri dish of data.” Here's how it all unfolded:
“The Gecko was 'hatched' with absolutely no research or even the intention of producing a long-running, iconic campaign. The fact is we analyzed results from running the first set of Gecko TV spots and liked the bump in business volume. We were able to attribute the increased business to the campaign and decided to move forward with additional Gecko executions. From that point on we have incorporated more traditional market research to track and monitor consumer sentiment related to the little green guy. I'm happy to report he is still one of the best-liked icons in advertising today.”
I'm personally a fan of the cavemen, but I guess the sentiment numbers just didn't hold up for them. (I guess they're back to their tennis vacations and meals of roast duck with mango salsa.)
Ward made a number of interesting points about the role of social media in business analytics. It's important to be able to understand social media, but this often is a perplexing piece of the puzzle. “There is a reason it is called social media and not business media,” he says. “There is much less control over the inputs and outputs, and the metrics of success are not as closely tied to direct business results.”
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