Why ‘Go Compare’s Graffiti Campaign is a Publicity Winner..

July 11, 2012 by  
Filed under Features

My favourite opera singer you ask? Gio Compario, the much-loathed mascot for Go Compare car insurance, whose moustachioed face can currently be seen on billboards up and down the country. Upon first glance, it may appear as if somebody has spray-painted insulting quips on these new ads. However, this is all just a carefully orchestrated marketing ploy from the same kind of ad execs that thought a gorilla playing the drums would be “well random� and having Katy Hill ask viewers if their teeth “feel wuff?� was a stroke of genius.

But there’s no doubt that Go Compare have scored more marketing points by playing on the general annoyance that Compario causes among TV viewers. He’s a phenomenon, who has been propelled into public consciousness simply by being awful. He’s a modern day Mr. Blobby and Go Compare have seemingly realised (like Tango, Marmite and Benetton before them) that sometimes negative publicity is good publicity.

But this ad-campaign goes even further. It brings those who deride the commercials back on side by poking fun at itself and demonstrating that they understand potential customers.

In recent memory, the only character to come close to matching Gio Compario’s irritancy has been the excitable Frosties kid, the overly enthusiastic arm-waving child with a rabid hankering for crunchy, sugary flakes.

The actor who played him, it now transpires, was not a child at all, but rather the 45-year-old hormonally-challenged Swedish actor Jens Frostengård. In 2006, he made headlines after attempting to drown himself in a bowl (he maintained it a was a plate) of his favourite breakfast cereal — Alpen.

Now, most of that last bit is untrue, but nevertheless, my lies are still less far-fetched than some of the rumours that were passed around when the Frosties kid became internationally loathed. Similar stories, also appeared in the wake of Gio’s unfortunate debut, when it was widely and wrongly reported that the Welsh singer responsible for portraying him had gone into hiding.

Was that good publicity for Go Compare? Most probably and ever since they’ve been basking in the general public’s negativity, as if they hate themselves as much as we do.

Personally, I feel a little sorry for Compario. One of their new ads implies that Gio isn’t fit to be their mascot and suggests pizza delivery would be more within his skill set. It’s not merely offensive to people who deliver pizzas for a living, but it’s also a minor hate crime isn’t it? Pizza. Because he’s supposed to be Italian, right? Yes, very clever.

Another ad simply encourages the opera singer to jump of a cliff, which seems to be taking it a bit far. Sure, his little song and moustache are annoying, but I don’t wish death upon the man. In any case, he’s hardly as bad as Micky from a few years back, with his fluffy, blow-job inducing bed hair or the gelatinous, turd-like Colman’s bull that used to crap all over our screens.

It’s certainly a struggle to imagine just how these ads are supposed to make people buy car insurance, but I do now have an overwhelming urge to buy pizza—and jump off a cliff.

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