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The Martin Agency on Genius Ideas for GEICO

The Martin Agency on Genius Ideas for GEICO

The Martin Agency on logistically crushing the GEICO set; condensing ads for viewer's convenience & using humour.

Following the success of GEICO's award-winning work from The Martin Agency - Unskippable and Fast Forward -  the agency has again come up with an excellent campaign to challenge consumer's viewing habits.

This time, Crushed sees eight spots get literally condensed to just 15 seconds as the wall's of the set close in on the individuals featured.

We caught up with The Martin Agency's SVP/group creative director Steve Bassett and VP/CD Neel Williams to find out how they came up with this latest campaign idea through challenging themselves to suprise and delight viewers.



SVP/group creative director, Steve Bassett

What was the brief with which GEICO approached you?

Find a new way to  engage viewers with the GEICO brand in the pre-roll space.  Make it as disruptive as our previous ads.


Considering the success of the previous Unskippable & Fast Forward ads, how did you come up with this idea and ensure it was different from its predecessors?

As with Unskippeable and Fast Forward, we wanted to do three things. Acknowledge how people feel about pre-roll ads. Have GEICO do something positive about it. Do something that people haven’t seen before.... which led us to condensing our own ads for the viewer’s convenience.


Why did you feel condensed ads were particularly appropriate to tackle?

Basically, we're still buying a :15 ad. We just asked ourselves what would be the most fun for viewers to watch, stand up to repeated viewings, and still get the GEICO savings message across. Crushing stuff seemed like a pretty good idea.



Why did you decide that comedy was the best way to get this message across?

Humor has always been a cornerstone of the GEICO brand.  And most people, especially people on social media, appreciate self-aware brands that don’t take themselves too seriously.


What can we expect from future GEICO campaigns? Will the series continue?

As our famous leader, Ted Ward at GEICO always says, stay tuned.



VP/CD Neel Williams

The ads are just 15 seconds long. What were the challenges of getting the message across in such a short space of time?

It was definitely a challenge because the concept is cramming a longer ad into a shorter amount of time, not to mention a smaller physical space. We were relentless in fine-tuning the dialogue at each stage. From callbacks to previz to rehearsals, we looked at every word and the amount of hand-offs in each spot to find the ideal amount of dialogue the actors could deliver. It needed to feel rushed, but not unintelligible.

And what were the logistics involved in shrinking the studio rooms? It looks pretty dangerous…

It’s hard to re-create the chaos, urgency and sheer terror of being crushed in a small room. That’s why we absolutely knew we had to do it practically. One of Terri Timely’s specialties is practical effects, so it really was a perfect fit. The wall became such a crucial element. Terri Timely and their production design team really nailed it. The wall worked flawlessly every take (and because of how long it took to reset most of the scenes, we couldn’t afford to waste a single take). Thankfully, no humans, animals or creatives were harmed! 



How long did the shoot take?

It was a three day shoot. With the exception of Racquetball which had a quick reset, we could only get about four or five takes of each spot. Planning was so crucial and Terri Timely could not have been more buttoned up.          

Creative connections

  • Agency The Martin Agency
  • Creative Director Neel Williams
  • SVP/Group Creative Director Steve Bassett

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