Geico is out with its first commercials that aren't from The Martin Agency in a good long while, but they do continue the brand's tradition of absurd, offbeat humor.
Four 15-second spots, created by Atlanta shop IQ, are, in all fairness, up against impossibly tough competition from Martin's deep reel for the brand—all the more so on the heels of the brilliant, Grand Prix-winning "Unskippable" preroll campaign.
In that context, and on its own terms, IQ's new work—which rails on inane corporate cost-cutting measures—clocks in as solid. The scenarios are something pretty much anyone can get on board with hating. The sight gags in the pie-chart and shared-office spots pack a little more punch than the verbal email spots. (How the latter could save a company money is unclear, even among all these comically inefficient ideas.)
The office humor in general might seem like a bit of a logical gap for a company that's best known for selling personal auto insurance (it does offer business policies through partner companies). But the theme is grounded in a certain strategic approach.
"We're just coming out of a recession where companies big and small tried to save money in a million small ways, often to the chagrin of their employees," Clark Moss, IQ's executive creative director, said in a statement. There's also something of a precedent—namely, Martin's famous "Hump Day" camel spot, also set in an office.
IQ CEO Tony Quin told Adweek there was no formal pitch for the assignment.
"I think they were just seeing what's out there and they gave us a chance," he said. "It's not every day a big brand gives a small agency a shot and I'm of course delighted at the performance of my team. While we are known for our digital work going back to when we won the Cyber Grand Prix [in 2006] for work for VW, we actually started out in television and still do a fair amount of video in our evolved role as a full service shop."
Quin added, "I don't believe there is any dissatisfaction at all [at Geico] with the Martin Agency." Still, he said, "we couldn't be happier to have the opportunity to swing a bat at one of the great commercial franchises."
Agency: IQ Agency, Atlanta
Executive Creative Director: Clark Moss
Art Director: Tricia Gillentine
Copywriter: Sarah Giarratana
Director: Ben Callner
Producer: Khia Banks
Additional Production Credits: Pogo Pictures, Nine Mile Circle