Advertising Gems: Little Spots Have Big Impact

Remember the Geico cavemen and Mr. Whipple? Here are a few contenders for future glory

In the highly competitive bid for marketing solutions, advertisers must come up with increasingly creative ways to inform the audience about the products they’re trying to sell in an entertaining way within the confines of a 30-second timeslot.

We all remember commercial classics like "I can’t believe I ate the whole thing!" advertising Pepto Bismol and "Please, don’t squeeze the Charmin," which made Mr. Whipple a household name.

Geico is perhaps the Mac Daddy of television ads that have gone viral with big hits such as: The cavemen ever frustrated by Geico ads insisting, "It is so easy, a caveman could do it!"; the cute little gecko (aptly using a play on words — Geico/gecko — indirect marketing genius) who was a likable character with a British, or was it Australian, "Well, actually I’m from…" accent; and most recently a stack of money with huge sad eyes following people around, dubbed "the money you could be saving with Geico."

The audience was glued to the television set to see the next episode of the cavemen in a 30-second segment. But what was an effective ad was a total flop as a half-hour sitcom. Lesson learned….

Stephanie Courtney performs her character Flo, the overly hyper, happy-go-lucky girl who works in the pristine, all-white "Heaven" of Progressive Insurance, tending to every variety of customer from Santa to a couple of competitors in an awkward "Busted!" moment. Flo confidently puts the men at ease by saying, "Office party!"

These are all going to be difficult acts to follow in the ad business, but I think I’ve come across a few that will at least give them a run for their money, and a couple that are too funny even for television. I dare you not to laugh:

This is KIA’s ad for its 2011 Soul. It’s actually a remake of an earlier version that didn’t quite hit the mark — this one totally rocks!!! 



Then there’s this one for AT&T, which appropriately asks, "How do you describe that in a text?!



This German ad will probably never make it to American television due to the cultural differences in viewing audiences. No worries, it’s family-friendly, but simply hilarious! (No dogs were actually harmed in the making of this video.)


Then there’s Danica Patrick, the GoDaddy Girl and Nascar contender. GoDaddy has a slew of ads on YouTube that will never hit broadcast television. They did one that was actually even banned from the 2010 Super Bowl for being too controversial, while others are simply too racy, sexually explicit or just not funny. Why this one never hit the airwaves is anyone’s guess because it will make you say, "Go Granny!"