Raves in a church. Street foods served indoors. And now, Geico in an M&Ms commercial. All of these combinations match unlike elements together to form a new product greater than the sum of its parts. (I believe some like to refer to that phenomenon as “synergy,” but I prefer to stay away from that word.)
But wait, M&Ms and Geico?
Yes. You read that right.
After airing their first commercial spot together this past week, M&Ms’ advertising agency, BBDO, and Geico’s agency, The Martin Agency, showed the world that brands don’t need to always advertise for themselves. In fact, it can create an even greater impact on the consumer when there is an element of surprise when combining unlikely and unrelated brands. It has the same effect as when you go to the Galapagos and see your next-door neighbors.
People subconsciously form expectations about their upcoming experiences, and when a variation of that expectation occurs in an obvious way, the surprise element brands itself. In the case of this commercial, the impact is resounding. It affirms all the clichés, two is better than one, 1+1=3, the element of surprise, all while saving money on air time. It’s not something to over-do, just like you wouldn’t eat peanut butter chocolates as your only form of nutrients. However, it reflects creative professionals’ ongoing ambition to bring something unexpected and memorable to advertising.