Thursday, October 18, 2007

Flying Caveman on Campus

Yesterday afternoon, I was eating my lunch outside between Engineering buildings while talking to PM, when we noticed that there was a small plane flying overhead with an advertisement.

It was a GEICO caveman ad. It is very unusual to see aerial advertising in Durham or over Duke's campus, so it almost made us feel as if we were at the beach. The weather was particularly nice, so that probably contributed to the effect.

I'm interested in marketing strategies (in what am I not interested?), so it got me thinking about why they chose to fly over campus during a weekday as opposed to an outdoor shopping mall or a football stadium. I couldn't find any statistics, but I would guess that Duke's campus has an unusually low percentage of adults who own cars, since many undergraduates don't have them. On the other hand, it probably has an unusually high percentage of people who have driver's licenses since there are very few children on campus. Those without cars may be about to get them and would need insurance. I have a hard time believing Duke students, staff and students have fewer accidents, though. I even saw one at a four-way stop on campus as I was leaving work this evening.

Bull's Eye covered this as well. Cavemen banners have actually been sighted all over North Carolina. They flew over Chapel Hill, just a couple of weeks ago, and in Boone after Appalachian beat Michigan in football.

I guess flying a plane is so easy...


  1. I had no idea this was for GEICO! It was hard to make out anything on the banner because the plane was flying so high up.

  2. i was on I-85 coming home from work when i saw that thing, and i tried to get to a spot where i could get a picture of it, but no luck.

    glad someone found it.

  3. It's certainly not the most environmentally-friendly form of advertising. I know, I shouldn't expect cavemen to care about climate change.