Rate the Ad: Geico: Numa Numa Guy with Gecko

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Last time on Rate the Ad, we looked at an interactive craft project to get parents to talk to their kids about drugs. Los Angeles-based agency Ground Zero, for The Sound Advice Project, created a site where parents could record a personal message for their child and create a bracelet from the audio visualized in 3D. For $18, parents can purchase the bracelet for their kids as a physical embodiment of their presumably supportive words. We wanted to know how teens would respond to such a gift and if you think the Livestrong wristband phenomenon was inspiration.

Overwhelmingly, Rate the Adsters were fans of the campaign—some made requests for their own bracelets fashioned in silver, while others wanted the bracelet to come with audio playback. One commenter, "dhard," wondered if Ground Zero bought the technology—or ripped it off—from an artist already making sound wave jewelry.

On the issue of originality, commenter "johnboone" thinks the campaign is successful not for novel technology, but for its intent: "I think this is one of the coolest ideas I've seen in a while. Yes, it's using existing technology but, with a great concept and for a good cause. I think many teens will wear it as long as the message is positive not preachy. Kids, now more than ever, need to know they are loved and valued."

This week, we visit the world of parodies of popular internet videos. While sites like You Tube, Daily Motion and MetaCafe make famous the everyday people who post videos of their cats, hysterical babies and outbursts of song, Geico wants to join the ranks of those who counter-post those millions of millions of views sensations with homemade parodies. The Martin Agency launched the insurance company's parody campaign with "Numa Numa Guy with Gecko," a video of theNuma Numa guy Gary Brolsma singing a new tune while the famed Geico gecko dances in the background--like the original, this was also filmed in Gary's house. Gecko has its own YouTube channel to house the parodies—including Numa, four are live now and five more will be released in the coming weeks. Well, what do you think? Is the gecko alone, without a logo or URL, a strong enough brand clue? Does it make sense for brands to jump into the video dialogue? Or is this in an entirely separate genre than those two kids recording their own Snuggie commercials in their basement? Share your thoughts on the concept, the return of Numa and the gecko's moves, below.
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