Geico Real Savings

Geico (big auto insurance company in the US) is an endless source of my “design fail” inspiration. Looks like they have some internal branding issues and desperately choose between “cave man” and “wet talking lizard with attitude” (ok, ok, “Geko”) approaches. Both fail, IMO.

I took this picture on the road last week and made some quick Photoshop on it:

Real savings

Real savings

Shadow: an imitation of something” (Dictionary and Thesaurus – Merriam-Webster)

The story is now available at DesignFail.org

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I can not “Enroll Now”: I am driving

Yet another dumb application of web-like advertisement to the road ad billboards. Check this out: “Enroll Now”:

Enroll now

Enroll now

My first impression was: “damn, I can not enroll now, even if I wish to enroll. I am driving”.

I took the picture from the best visible spot of the billboard. The billboard stands in a place from which only “Enroll Now” is visible. In a matter of a second or two I could read this stupid invitation to immediate enrollement and then concentrate on the road: I do not want to be smashed by dumptrucks entering this part of the highway (680 near Benicia).

I have a better design idea for designers of this ingenious ad: “Click Here to Enroll Now!” followed by License Agreement, restriction policy, discount coupon code and Terms of Service. Yeah, and do not forget to include top management’s bios with “business smile” photos.

Guys, highway billboards are good only for well established brands and/or for very, very short texts. People who are driving 65 mph will not read your micro text even if they wish to.

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~DF, Publisher

Chevron’s Advertisement: Bad Taste!

Chevron's ad

Chevron advertisement

Hello? Who’s talking? Are those (Chevron) who were selling me gasoline at $4.25/gallon just recently (San Francisco, California)? Sure we will be using less gas! Like in the old anecdote where the kid came to his alcoholic father and asks him: “Dad, I’ve heard they rise prices for liquor. Does it mean you will be drinking less?” Dad says: “No son. That means that you will be eating less“. But back to the subject.

IMO, to write something over someone’s face looks good only in case of law enforcement creativity like “FBI Wanted Fugitive. Captured”. But when it comes to civilian design this approach sucks because:

  • Human face is not an even surface like whiteboard; To write something over a non-even surface in thin light font results hard to read;
  • It looks like graffiti;
  • You kinda disrespect the person by placing advertisement over his face.

Actually I was unable to read Chevron’s message until I photographed the banner when I was driving by. Guys, for the money you sucked out from our pockets you could come up with something better than you are exposing now.

Design Fail Factor: 9 (out of 10)

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Yeh, this is the right place to advertise Rolex

Buy Rolex! Like real deal

Buy 'like the real deal' Rolex

Yeh, right. For sure this is the best place to advertise Rolex: among poor plumbers and farmers in a middle of nowhere. Except may be they are talking about stolen fake Rolex watches.


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