Sep 18, 2013 3:07 PM by Michelle Miller - CBS News
(CBS News) Wednesday has long been known as "hump day," the middle of the normal work week. But now, "hump day" could be forever linked to a wildly popular commercial by the insurance company Geico.
CBS News' Michelle Miller recently sat down with the team at The Martin Agency that created the ad focused around a pretty absurd concept: a talking camel annoying his colleagues by reminding them what day of the week it is.
Miller said, "So basically the premise is he walks through the office every Wednesday."
Sean Riley, a creative director at the Martin Agency, Riley came up with the initial idea. "We were sort of focused on, let's do something in the office, let's do something you know that's surprising," he said. "And I think I said camel, and then it just kind of went from there."Molly Souter was the executive producer of the spot. Wade Alger oversees the Geico account. Alger said, "There was a huge debate, is it happier than a camel on Wednesday or is it happier than a camel on hump day?" But then "hump day" made more sense.
And by the way, the camel's official name is "Caleb." Souter said of the animal, "We were impressed by his swagger. He has a natural swagger."
Alger added, "Honestly, this camel was amazing. Other than the fact that we had to move the plants, because it kept trying to eat the plants."
The "Hump Day" commercial is not Caleb's only starring role. He also appeared in a Macklemore & Ryan Lewis video, and in movies, including "Transformers 2." But it was "Hump Day" that made him a star with more than 13 million views on YouTube. Abbey Klaassen, editor for the marketing and media publication Advertising Age, said, "You know, it is unusual to get an ad that has this kind of staying power."
And "Hump Day" is likely to end up as the most watched commercial of the year. It was also the most shared ad all summer. Click here to watch it on YouTube.
Alger said, "If you look at the tracking chart, the irony of it is it actually makes a hump, and it spikes on Wednesdays, which is...what more could you ask for?"
Geico has a history of running funny ads. The gecko, the cavemen, Maxwell the Pig, and now "Hump Day." The company spends nearly $1 billion a year on advertising and marketing. Klaassen said, "This strategy is absolutely working for Geico. Just this year they're about to pass Allstate and become the number two auto insurer."
If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, well, the folks at The Martin Agency should consider themselves flattered. The Dallas Mavericks did their own version featuring "game day."
Even the White House has gotten in on the act. They tweeted this picture of Vice President Biden:
So far, there has only been one hump day ad. Klaassen said, "I would hope this isn't the last we see of Caleb the camel."
Maybe the gecko should be worried?
In case you are wondering, Caleb the Camel was paid a one-time fee. Geico will not reveal the size of his paycheck.
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