Is GEICO Crazy in its Creative Approach? Or Cunning?

I advocate consistency in the creative presentation for brands.  I believe that creative consistency helps a brand be a more efficient and effective communicator.  But here is GEICO.  An incredibly successful brand.  Using different creative ideas at the same time.  Right now, they have the Gecko, and a campaign that looks like a taste test of a pleasing drink labeled GEICO and some treacle that is the other insurance brand, a handful of random commercials (one with an Opossum, another with a scout troop shooting paint balls in a home). 

Is this crazy?  Or a smart way to break through clutter and create memorable advertising and buzz for the brand.

First off, let me tell you that GEICO has a lot of money with which to experiment.  Over $600 million in measured media.  Many of the clients with whom I have worked don’t have that in sales.

But there is an argument to be made for this:

First off, the strategic idea is the same for all:  15 minutes could save you 15% or more.  Second, I would argue that the brand personality is pretty consistent: approachable, likeable, simple, honest.  The sorts of things that seem like a good idea for the confusing and intimidating world of insurance.  Third, most of the GEICO creative efforts are campaigns: not one-off ads but efforts that have a creative Campaign Idea that provides continuity.   Finally, and arguably, the use of multiple campaigns at once keeps the brand fresh.

So, there is potential method to their madness.  But… I wouldn’t suggest doing this, unless you have $600 million to spend on your brand communications.