Anyone else feel a little bemused at the news of ABC ordering a pilot of a TV sitcom based on Geico's cavemen characters?
First of all, good for Geico - .... it is a case study of marketing done well, and yet another example of blurring line between advertising and entertainment. Geico is creating some effective and memorable campaigns via direct mail, telemarketing, TV, radio and various online and social media platforms. Even the urbane little gecko has a blog.
With the announcement this week that ABC is interested in creating a TV show centered on the travails of the three misunderstood Geico cavemen living in modern day Atlanta, it is extending its reach into a place that, well– not even Geico could buy.
But I can't help but chuckle a little at the unintended metaphor of the networks developing prehistoric programming. In fact, in our Web 2.0 culture, TV itself feels increasingly Neanderthal to me. When I do watch network programming (my 10-year-old is addicted to American Idol), I feel impatient at its turtle pace, and held hostage by its scheduled programming and commercial interruptions.
So - .... kudos to Geico, which stands to benefit enormously.
As for the networks, well– the pilot program seems sadly appropriate. In other words, if the shoe fits... .
Thanks to Paul Barsch for the tip.
Ann Handley is chief content officer of MarketingProfs, author of Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide to Ridiculously Good Content, and co-author of the best-selling book on content marketing, Content Rules. Ann co-founded ClickZ.com, one of the first sources of interactive marketing news and commentary.