Geico’s “False Bonding”

“False bonding” refers to advertising that seeks to create a bond with the prospect, but does so in an illogical or insincere — and therefore ineffective — way.

A good example is the recent radio spot for Geico offering homeowner’s insurance to people who rent.

It begins (and I am paraphrasing): “We think renters are cool! Why? Maybe it’s all that cool stuff you own….”

The copy then suggests you need to insure your cool possessions with a Geico homeowner policy even if you rent instead of own.

The insincere notion is that “We think renters are cool!” The illogical notion is that renters own stuff that’s cooler than what homeowners own.

Think of the differences between renters and owners. There are many. But does the word “cool” pop into your mind? I didn’t think so.

And it’s stupid to say renters are cool because they own “cool stuff.” They mostly own the same stuff that homeowners do. What renter-specific possession is “cool”?

I would have taken a different tact: “As a renter, you own a lot of valuable stuff. But if it’s stolen or destroyed, who would pay for it? Not your landlord! That’s why you as a tenant need ‘renter’s insurance’ just like homeowners need ‘homeowner’s insurance.'”

Geico’s “cool renters” radio spot is yet another example of how advertising built around an incorrect premise is doomed to fall flat.


792 thoughts on “Geico’s “False Bonding”

  • Well, many renters are younger and – you know – I think they do have more “cool” stuff. (A friend of mine, a renter, was the first one on the block with a DVD player and lots of DVDs. Which were all stolen a couple of years later when he had a break-in! Not that insurance would have probably covered that loss!)

    That’s the advantage/problem with being 40+ … I’ll speak for myself — I could care less about cool. Used to care, not any more. I have more “stuff” than I can deal with … now something has to be a LOT more than just “brand-new” to get my attention.

  • OK, first of all this comes from an organization whose spokesbeing is a gecko. You want logic?

    Second, I think your “fall flat” prediction will be right but for a different reason. Renters do have cool stuff, which is why they are renters. They overspend for stuff and don’t save. It is this short-sighted thinking that would also lead them to take a pass on any voluntary insurance.

  • I was just about to write what Brian wrote. However, what definitely holds true of my generation when I was renting may not hold true for today’s Generation Y (or Z, or A2, or wherever we are at…) Perhaps they do look to the future more than we did?

    One hopes that Geico did their homework on this one. But there is one thing that is for sure — *I* was a lot cooler when I rented…


  • Your premise, Bob, that GEICO is being insincere has to be dead on. It is illogical to believe that the company thinks renters are cool. But then again, how different is that from “Yes, honey, you DO look great in that dress.”? The insincerity may be there, but then again, it is the resulting bond that matters.

  • Geico is on the mark in saying that renters are cool. The younger members of the so-called “creative class” that many cities are trying to lure are renters. As renters, they’re more likely to move for good — and cool — jobs than are homeowners. As Richard Florida, whose career is pretty much all about the creative class, writes on his blog: “(ownership) is a significant institutional impediment to the flexibility, adjustment and mobility the creative economy requires. NYC and London will derive even greater benefits over time from high rates of renters.” Of course, a radio spot trying to sell renter’s insurance isn’t the place to expound on the significance of the creative class. So the point gets boiled down to “renters are cool and they own cool stuff” — which they’re able to afford because they haven’t yet made themselves house poor with a mortgage and they’re not yet spending their disposable income on kids. This spot is playing to the affluent renters who are intelligent enough to understand the message that their cool stuff needs protecting. Sure, Bob’s rewrite makes the same point. But not with the creative personality that has become central to Geico’s brand.

  • When renters call Geico for renters insurance, they are actually referred to Travellers.

    It’s still unclear how much of a cut Geico gets from policies established with Travellers as a result.

  • GEICO could not care less about their customes or other consumers. Texas has a Consumer Bill of Rights for Auto Insurance which states “An insurance company may not specify the brand, type, kind, age, vendor, supplier, or condition of parts or products used to repair your automobile”. David Halley, a supervisor with Geico in Texas, stated “We don’t specify what parts you can use to repair your auto, we just don’t have to pay for any parts except what we specify”. What a ripoff!!! If their rates are cheaper, I guess its because you get what you pay for.

  • It’s essentially a pleasant and helpful piece of information. I am happy that you simply shared this useful information with us. Please keep us up to date similar to this. Thank you for sharing.

  • you’re in point of fact a just right webmaster. The website loading velocity is incredible. It sort of feels that you are doing any unique trick. Furthermore, The contents are masterwork. you have done a great task on this topic!

  • I do not even know how I found this site, but I thought this blog was awesome. I don’t know who you are but definitely you’re will be a famous blogger if you are not already 😉 Keep up the good work!

  • Its like you read my mind! You appear to know so much about this, like you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you could do with a few pics to drive the message home a little bit, but other than that, this is great blog. A fantastic read. I will definitely be back.

  • Thank you for sharing superb informations. Your web site is very cool. I am impressed by the details that you have on this web site. It reveals how nicely you understand this subject. Bookmarked this web page, will come back for extra articles. You, my friend, ROCK! I found just the info I already searched everywhere and simply could not come across. What a great site.

  • I love your blog.. very nice colors and theme. Did you design this website yourself or did you hire someone to do it for you? Plz respond as I’m looking to construct my own blog and would like to find out where u got this from. appreciate it

  • Heya i am for the primary time here. I found this board and I find It really useful & it helped me out much. I am hoping to present one thing back and help others like you helped me.

  • Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wished to mention that I have really loved surfing around your blog posts. In any case I’ll be subscribing in your feed and I hope you write again very soon!

  • Hello, Neat post. There’s an issue together with your web site in internet explorer, might test this… IE nonetheless is the market chief and a big part of people will miss your magnificent writing due to this problem.

  • I am just commenting to make you know of the superb experience my wife’s girl gained browsing your web site. She figured out such a lot of issues, with the inclusion of how it is like to possess a wonderful giving heart to have the rest with ease comprehend various multifaceted things. You really surpassed visitors’ expected results. Many thanks for giving those essential, healthy, explanatory and as well as cool guidance on the topic to Jane.

  • Hi my loved one! I wish to say that this article is amazing, great written and include almost all significant infos. I? like to peer more posts like this .

  • For anyone who is even so undecided: pick up your selected headphones, go right down to the Greatest Coupe and in order to advert individuals straight into a Zune after that a mp3 player to check out which tones advisable you will, along with that software enables you to be giggle much more. Then you’ll learn which is perfect for you.

  • The the following time I just read a weblog, I hope that this doesnt disappoint me as much as this. I imply, I know it was my replacement for read, but I genuinely thought youd have one thing fascinating to talk about. All I hear could be quite a few whining about one thing you may repair when you werent as well busy enthusiastic about attention.

  • fantastic factors altogether, you just gained emblem reader. What could you suggest in regards to your post that you simply simply made some days ago? Any positive?

  • Brilliant. Thanks to get a wonderful short article web page. I’ll be coming and reading for more and read your other articles. If you’d like me to refer this to other people, please let me know as I’ve loads of men and women who may be keen on what this web site has to share.

  • I’m really loving the theme/design of your web site. Do you ever run into any browser compatibility issues? A few of my blog readers have complained about my website not operating correctly in Explorer but looks great in Safari. Do you have any tips to help fix this issue?|I am curious to find out what blog system you have been using? I’m having some minor security issues with my latest site and I would like to find something more secure. Do you have any recommendations?

  • I have recently started a site, the information you offer on this website has helped me tremendously. Thanks for all of your time & work. “Everyone is responsible and no one is to blame.” by Will Schutz.

  • I think that similar blog creators will have to give consideration to this important internet site as an example. Exceptionally clean and uncomplicated design, as well as exceptional website content! You are a professional operating in this valuable subject matter 🙂

  • A person necessarily lend a hand to make critically posts I might state. That is the very first time I frequented your web page and so far? I surprised with the research you made to create this particular publish incredible. Wonderful activity!

  • Thanks for the sensible critique. Me and my neighbor were just preparing to do a little research about this. We got a grab a book from our local library but I think I learned more from this post. I’m very glad to see such great info being shared freely out there.

  • hello, you have a nice site! I have a small something to say: did you know social bookmarking tools are nice for increase your google pagerank?. By the way, is this microsoft blog engine that u use? I think its better then joomla, it loads nicely atleast. I have subscribed to your blog!

  • Pardon me if this really is off-topic, but far more folks have to seriously concentrate on what just happened in Oslo. Just bear in mind it could come about in our nation as well.

  • I guess this subject matter is more important than I thought. There appears to be really little details on this subject, yet every person is talking about it. I will need to check out this additional until I discover enough about the topic.

  • I precisely wished to appreciate you all over again. I am not sure what I would have accomplished in the absence of the actual opinions contributed by you relating to my situation. It actually was a very depressing circumstance in my position, but being able to see the professional strategy you resolved that made me to jump over joy. I am happy for this service and in addition wish you recognize what a great job you are always carrying out instructing other individuals by way of your website. I know that you have never got to know any of us.

  • Hey there! Quick question that’s entirely off topic. Do you know how to make your site mobile friendly? My website looks weird when viewing from my iphone4. I’m trying to find a template or plugin that might be able to correct this issue. If you have any suggestions, please share. Many thanks!

  • Hi, I do believe this is a great site. I stumbledupon it 😉 I am going to return yet again since I bookmarked it. Money and freedom is the greatest way to change, may you be rich and continue to help others.

  • Hey there! I’m at work surfing around your blog from my new iphone 4! Just wanted to say I love reading through your blog and look forward to all your posts! Carry on the outstanding work!

  • I believe this website has got some really superb info for everyone. “I prefer the wicked rather than the foolish. The wicked sometimes rest.” by Alexandre Dumas.

  • Youre so cool! I dont suppose Ive read anything like this before. So nice to seek out somebody with some unique thoughts on this subject. realy thank you for starting this up. this website is something that is needed on the internet, someone with a bit originality. useful job for bringing something new to the internet!

  • Good post. I be taught one thing more difficult on completely different blogs everyday. It’s going to at all times be stimulating to learn content material from different writers and observe somewhat one thing from their store. I?d want to make use of some with the content material on my weblog whether or not you don?t mind. Natually I?ll provide you with a hyperlink in your internet blog. Thanks for sharing.

  • Once I originally commented I clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get four emails with the same comment. Is there any method you possibly can remove me from that service? Thanks!

  • The new Zune web browser will be interestingly beneficial, however is not as good as all the iPod’s. Truely does work well, however isn’t as rapid just as Safari, as well as a clunkier vent. Should you from time to time thinking about utilizing the internet browser that was not a major problem, but once you’re preparing for you to look at the world wide web a decent amount from a PMP then the iPod’s much bigger display far better browser could very well be critical.

  • After research a couple of of the weblog posts in your web site now, and I actually like your manner of blogging. I bookmarked it to my bookmark web site listing and shall be checking again soon. Pls take a look at my web page as properly and let me know what you think.

  • There are some interesting deadlines on this article however I don?t know if I see all of them center to heart. There is some validity however I’ll take maintain opinion till I look into it further. Good article , thanks and we want extra! Added to FeedBurner as properly

  • My programmer is trying to convince me to move to .net from PHP. I have always disliked the idea because of the expenses. But he’s tryiong none the less. I’ve been using WordPress on a variety of websites for about a year and am worried about switching to another platform. I have heard fantastic things about Is there a way I can import all my wordpress posts into it? Any help would be really appreciated!

  • Nice post. I was checking constantly this blog and I am impressed! Extremely helpful info specifically the last part 🙂 I care for such information much. I was seeking this particular info for a very long time. Thank you and good luck.

  • Greetings! I know this is kind of off topic but I was wondering if you knew where I could get a captcha plugin for my comment form? I’m using the same blog platform as yours and I’m having problems finding one? Thanks a lot!

  • You are so interesting! I don’t think I’ve read a single thing like this before. So great to discover another person with some original thoughts on this issue. Really.. thank you for starting this up. This website is one thing that is needed on the internet, someone with a little originality!

  • My spouse and i blog site normally and I very seriously appreciation for your content. This info has genuinely peaked my interest. I will take note of your blog whilst checking out for brand spanking new specifics about once per week. I personally agreed to your current RSS feed likewise.

  • Hi there. I found your blog making use of bing. It becomes an extremely well written report. I will always take a note of the idea and are avalable returning to find out more of your respective handy information. Was looking for submit. Let me definitely return.

  • I don’t know whether it’s just me or if everyone else encountering problems with your website.

    It looks like some of the written text within your content are running off the screen.
    Can someone else please provide feedback and let me
    know if this is happening to them too? This might be a problem with my web
    browser because I’ve had this happen before.

    Many thanks

  • I needed to thank you for this very good read!! I certainly loved every little bit of it.
    I have you book-marked to look at new things you post…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *