Advertising is a powerful thing. I’d known this before but this weekend, something happened that proved how powerful it really is. I’m sure most of you in the United States know of the automobile insurance company that uses a Gecko as its advertising icon. If someone asked you the name of the company and/or showed you a picture of a Gecko, you could probably spit out the company name in about 2 seconds.
What if you asked a three year old? I received an advertisement from this company in my bank statement. I removed the advertisement and laid it on the table meaning to trash it a little later. My cousin picked it up and promptly said the name of the company loud and clear. I had to ask her again just to be sure I’d heard her correctly. Sure enough, she said the name of the company again. Yes, the company name was printed on the card but she is three years old and she can’t read!! She only saw the picture and immediately knew what company the picture represented. Needless to say, I was pretty astonished.

For those of you that have kids, does this happen often? Can your child identify the name of a company just from an advertisement without hearing the name first?


  1. Lisa @ Corporate Babysitter // March 17, 2008 at 11:54 AM  

    Oh, yes. It happens all the time. Marketers count on it.

  2. Anonymous // March 17, 2008 at 1:09 PM  

    I've written posts about the power of advertising and my 5 year old son. He's really into NASCAR, and when we're shopping, he regularly points out cases of Budweiser (that's embarassing). And he loves the Geiko Gecko, too. After all. Mike Wallace drives the Geico Chevrolet!

  3. Anonymous // March 17, 2008 at 1:27 PM  

    Yes definitely, our 5 year old son has been doing that for years. They pick up everything like a sponge, and even if they can't read the words, they're very good at recognizing the symbols and relating them to the commercials that they see.

  4. paidtwice // March 18, 2008 at 11:56 AM  

    Absolutely, they notice way more and absorb way more than we think!

    For example, I was sitting at the computer with my 3 year old son a few days ago, and I was reading Free Money Finance. FMF has that Moose Tracks ad on the corner of his site, and I pointed it out to my son and said "Look, a moose!" and he said "No mommy, that ice cream"

    The ad just has a moose. But one in a while we buy moose tracks ice cream and he recognized the moose.