The Longevity of Good Creative

Have you guys been seeing the “Bob Wehadababyitsaboy” commercial for Geico on the air recently? It’s a clever spot that Geico ran from 2000 to 2002 and Geico has decided to put it back on the air. And, despite the spot feeling like it’s from a completely different era, it is still pretty effective.

Let’s talk a bit about what dates the spot. First, the format of the video itself reminds me of my childhood. Those black bars you’re seeing on the right and left harken back to a time before wide screen televisions. Next up, the entire concept of the piece revolves around a family saving money on long distance and collect calls. Remember when those were things? I wonder if anyone born after 1995 gets the joke at all.

Even with all of that, I think the spot is still pretty darn good. The “joke” itself is solid. The phrase “Wehadababyitsaboy” was surprisingly memorable and quotable. And the message, though somewhat indirect, was pretty solid too.

I think the big lesson to be learned here is that in marketing and advertising, good creative has a hell of a lifespan. And if it works, you should keep using it. One of my favorite quotes from Ogilvy on Advertising (I think?) is, “If you are lucky enough to write a good advertisement, repeat it until it stops selling. Scores of good advertisements have been discarded before they lost their potency.”

Geico, as I’m sure you are aware, advertises on television, and elsewhere a lot. And they have several different creative campaigns going at any given time. But, I was pretty happy to see this one make a bit of a comeback. But let’s hope they don’t try the same thing with those creepy cavemen.


Jason Cooper