I don’t know whether the top brass over at Geico have decided they want to make a play for the title of worst insurance ad ever, but their latest advertisement is a little bizarre. Seemingly taking inspiration from the ‘Howard’ Halifax ads, featuring their own staff singing, they have certainly added a slice of highly processed American Cheese.
The most notable feature of the ad is not the everyman workforce, nor the guitar playing gecko. The most memorable image is the sight of 79 year-old billionaire investor Warren Buffett, the ‘Sage of Omaha’ making a guest appearance dressed as Axl Rose.
Although well known as an investor in brands such as Kraft, Coca Cola, Tesco and Fruit of the Loom, amongst a huge portfolio of stocks owned by Buffett’s holding company Berkshire Hathaway, he also has a large number of insurance holdings, including owning Geico and General Re outright.
Funnily enough, I think Buffett may be a closet petrolhead, one of his earliest attempts to make money was a car detailing enterprise he founded as a young man (I don’t think americans had heard of modified car insurance in the 1950s though), and last year he helped bail out Harley Davidson. Insurance giant Swiss Re also benefitted from his largesse following the credit crunch to the tune of £1.8bn. There have also been persistent rumours that he might bid for the RBS Insurance assets if they come onto the market again, as expected – let’s hope the Direct Line ads don’t go the same way as this.