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#fansofcannes: Geico Unskippable

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It’s fascinating to see how communications adapt (or fail to adapt) to changing media formats. Old Spice skillfully repurposed their ‘The Man your Man Could Smell Like’ TVC content for social media. Earlier this year, Jeep’s mobile-optimised portrait format ad aired at the halftime of the SuperBowl in front of 113 million people watching horizontal screens – the result was an arresting incongruity. Meanwhile, however, most advertisers simply run the same ads they run on TV as pre-rolls on YouTube – despite the fact that people almost always skip them after 5 seconds (usually before the brand name or visual equity has even appeared).

The Geico Unskippable series didn’t work within the restrictions of the format – it completely derailed them. The insurance firm’s message is delivered in the first few seconds, but the ad just keeps on going…. The spots are created with a huge amount of craft, finesse and skill – with the purposeful intention of looking like a low-rent shopping channel production. Knowing, self-referential, ironic – we’re complicit in our understanding of the medium, and the way the message disrupts it. How meta is that.

By Katie Ewer, Strategy Director, jkr Singapore

Geico Unskippable (Cannes Lions Grand Prix, 2015) Agency: The Martin Agency

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