Though YouTube does not charge advertisers for unwatched ads, the critical window that allows viewers to skip them after only five seconds leaves little time to pitch a product. As a result, the business of commercials has been changing to fit the format, finding creatively, self-aware ways to hook an audience. The latest company to rise to the challenge, one already known for it’s prolific and comedic advertising campaigns, is Geico. Their latest campaign, titled “Unskippable” and created by The Martin Agency, takes a page from the 5-Second Films playbook, jumping into scenes in time only to hear a one-word punchline (“Savings!”) before freeze-framing by the three second mark. The narrator announces the commercial is over moments before the “Skip Ad” button pops up, but then something very surreal happens…
Whether intentional or not, these cleverly unskippable commercials take their inspiration from a thirty year-old TV show that was on the air for a mere six episodes. In 1982, the comedy team behind Airplane!, Jim Abrahams and brothers David and Jerry Zucker, created a police procedural spoof for ABC titled Police Squad!. Much like their previous work, the show relied heavily on sight-gags, word-play, and the deadpan brilliance of actor Leslie Nielsen. If this sounds familiar, it’s because the show was later adapted into the popular The Naked Gun film franchise.
One of the lasting legacies of the series was the false freeze-frame, that lasted throughout the end credits. In this supercut of all the episode epilogues, watch Nielsen and his partner, Ed (Alan North), keep impossibly straight faces as all hell breaks loose around them. Then watch the remaining Geico spots, and lets us know who you think did it better in the comments below.
HT: Ad Week