Geico Auto Insurance is well known for their animated Gecko mascot, who teaches audiences how to save money on insurance. The company’s advertisements are very brief, 30 second to one minute long, campaigns that are aimed at emphasizing different aspects about their insurance policies. Their main advertising strategy therefore utilizes the shifting trends in media compression, by placing more information into smaller spaces in order for viewers to process the main point before attention is lost.

The advertisement begins with human characters participating in a Yoga class. The first shot is a close up and head orient of a woman in the class, and then the camera pans out and follows the class from left to right. When the cell phone rings, instead of a human in the class answering it, a CGI pig jumps up and defies the assumption of the viewer. The omission of the pig in the beginning of the ad is meant to spark curiosity and hold attention, since his appearance goes against what is expected. The camera shot of the pig is from a very low angle and this emphasizes the superiority of the pig as he brags to the class about his better-quality insurance. These camera angles highlight the underlying contrast montage of the advertisement. Maxwell, the pig, is showing his advantage over others in the class, by using the Geico “claims status” report app. As he exclaims about receiving the message, his eyes shift from direct address to the audience to an off screen glace toward others in the studio. The other participants seem to bow their head in humiliation as he does this, showing their failure in contrast to the successful pig (and their annoyance for having his cell phone ring in class). The pig is completely photorealistic and fits into the environment perfectly with expertly crafted CGI effects. Although he is non human, his expression and movement are very realistic and convincing.

The digital creation of a pig, however, goes against people’s preference for neotneous faces, because he is shown with a large nose, small cheeks and small eyes. One thing that may have been more effective in the ad would have been to create a more adorable or neotenous pig that people would better relate to. However, overall the advertisement is effective in engaging the audience and teaching them about the benefits of Geico.



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