You Know What I Was When You Brought Me In

8 May

I love a well-crafted commercial–and insurance companies hire some of the best firms in America. However, the recent GEICO ads bug me, because they hired these personalities to do a job opposite of what they do.

For those who aren’t familiar with this ad series, you can watch it, but here’s the gist. GEICO brings in this celebrity, they start doing their schtick, and the executives say, “You know, that’s really not what we’re going for.” The celebrity does more of that schtick, and the execs correct them again. That’s their “Take the Drama Out” rollout.

Why this annoys me is the concept is first, these are “claims auditions.” If these were anonymous actors pitching their best ad campaign, this would make sense, but these are known people. You know exactly who they are. Dick Vitale is a sports announcer; he says wacky things, he’s big, he’s boisterous, he exaggerates. Then these execs tell him (politely), “Yeah, that’s not what we do…” Then why the #($& did you ask him to come in?!

Billy Blanks is a high-energy exercise magnate; he’s gonna do a workout. Lisa Loeb is a successful singer-songwriter who does catchy mildly-depressing songs. So… it reminds me of when the boss asks you to do something that’s WAY out of your job description, but you do it anyway, and then they say, “Well, that’s really not what I wanted.” Really? Gee, maybe you should have asked the person who’s supposed to do the job to do it!

I’ll admit, part of my complaint is that I really love Lisa Loeb… and Dick Vitale, and I don’t want to see them humiliated on TV. But it’s that tone-deafness that really annoys me. I guess I’ve been in that situation too many times myself, grinding my teeth, because… well, my job is often whatever my boss says it is. A job description is a description, not a list of absolutely do’s and don’ts. Yeah, I could pitch a fit, say I won’t do it, but… that really removes a lot of my boss’s appeal to keep me around.

A pet peeve? Possibly, but considering how good GEICO ads usually are, I find it a slap in the face. Of course, I could be thinking about these too hard–what do you think? Let me know in the comments below! Speaking of advertisements, check out one of my books. However, if you found this post less than my normal quality, go ahead and download one of my stories for free.

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