Hump Day Geico commercial

If you’ve tuned in to TV or surfed the internet on a Wednesday, you’ve likely come across the Hump Day Geico commercial.

This 30-second ad stars a talking camel, Caleb, strolling through an office and inquiring about the day.

The inevitable response is “Hump Day,” a colloquial term for Wednesday, symbolizing the midweek point.

The commercial concludes with a voice-over stating, “Happier than a camel on Wednesday. Geico. 15 minutes could save you 15% or more on car insurance.”

Why is it called Hump Day?

“Hump Day” is a friendly way to refer to Wednesday, the midpoint of the workweek. It’s like the hump of a hill, signaling progress toward the weekend.

People often use it to share the common feeling of work monotony or frustration. The term has been around since the 1950s and gained more popularity after a Geico commercial went viral in 2013.

What company started Hump Day?

“Hump Day” isn’t a trademark or a brand; it’s a timeless expression that has resonated for decades. While not originating with any specific company, Geico significantly elevated its popularity.

In May 2013, Geico launched a memorable commercial with Caleb the camel, making “Happier than a camel on Wednesday” iconic.

This swiftly became a highly viewed and shared ad, cleverly linking the term with Geico’s services in a memorable way.

An image illustration of hump day Geico commercial
Hump day Geico commercial
Caption; Freepik

What’s Hump Day in America?

In America, “Hump Day” simply refers to Wednesday, but it’s also a playful nickname implying it’s the toughest day of the week.

People often say “Happy Hump Day” to lift spirits, celebrating the halfway mark. While commonly used in offices, it’s versatile across various contexts.

The phrase is often linked to camel images or memes, a trend that gained momentum after the popular Geico commercial.

When was the first Hump Day commercial?

Geico’s inaugural Hump Day commercial, unveiled in May 2013, swiftly became a viral sensation and a cultural sensation.

The ad starred Caleb, a talkative camel wandering through an office, joyfully inquiring about the day. The response, “Hump Day,” delighted the camel.

Accompanied by a catchy jingle, “Happier than a camel on Wednesday,” the commercial concluded with Geico’s tagline, “15 minutes could save you 15% or more on car insurance.”

It not only ranked as the seventh most-viewed YouTube video in 2013 but also garnered several awards and accolades for its memorable impact.

The Making of a Viral Hit

Universal Relatability:

    • The Geico Hump Day commercial gained popularity by tapping into the widespread sense of boredom and frustration in workplaces.
    • The comedic effect stemmed from the stark contrast between the mundane office setting and the exuberant camel, resonating with viewers.

Memorable Phrases:

    • The commercial’s success was fueled by catchy and memorable phrases like “Hump Day,” “Guess what day it is,” and the repetitive “Mike, Mike, Mike, Mike, Mike.”
    • These phrases were not only easy to remember but also lent themselves well to repetition and quoting.

Strategic Timing:

    • Released at a time when the hashtag #HumpDay was on the rise on Twitter, the commercial benefited from the social media trend.
    • Users on Twitter were already using #HumpDay to express feelings or share humorous content related to Wednesdays.

Talking Animal Appeal:

    • The use of a talking animal, a common and effective advertising trope, contributed to the commercial’s virality.
    • A University of Oxford study indicates that ads with animals are more shareable and likable, eliciting positive emotions and grabbing viewer attention.

Distinctive Voice and Design:

    • Actor Chris Sullivan provided the distinctive voice for the camel in the commercial, infusing the character with personality and humor.

    • The camel’s realistic and expressive design, achieved through a blend of animatronics and computer-generated imagery, further enhanced its appeal.

A Cultural Phenomenon

The Hump Day Geico commercial not only became a viral hit, but also a cultural phenomenon that transcended the boundaries of advertising.

The commercial influenced the popular culture in various ways, such as:

  • Inspiring a song by rapper Lil Jon, titled “Turn Down for What”, which sampled the camel’s voice and became a hit in 2014.
  • Being referenced by celebrities, politicians, and athletes, such as President Barack Obama, who joked about it in a speech in 2013, and the Denver Broncos, who played it in their locker room before a game in 2014.
  • Being parodied by various TV shows, such as Saturday Night Live, The Tonight Show, and The Ellen DeGeneres Show.
  • YouTube users remixed the commercial, creating mashups, edits, and spoofs like “Hump Day Halloween” and “Hump Day Remix.”
  • Users turned it into memes, adding captions, images, or videos, with examples like “Happy Hump Day” and “Hump Day Cat.”
  • The commercial was merchandised, featuring on products like T-shirts, mugs, stickers, and plush toys.

The Legacy of the Hump Day Geico Commercial

The Hump Day Geico commercial has left a lasting impact on the advertising industry and the society at large.

The commercial has been recognized as one of the best and most influential ads of the 21st century, winning several awards and accolades, such as:

  • The 2013 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, where it won a Gold Lion for Film and a Silver Lion for Film Craft.
  • The 2013 CLIO Awards, where it won a Grand CLIO for Film and a Gold CLIO for Film Technique.
  • The 2014 One Show, where it won a Gold Pencil for Television and a Silver Pencil for Branded Entertainment.
  • The 2014 Webby Awards, where it won the People’s Voice Award for Best Viral Video.
  • The 2014 Adweek Hot List, where it was ranked as the No. 1 TV Commercial of the Year.

The commercial earned acclaim for its ingenuity, originality, and effectiveness, successfully meeting Geico’s objectives of boosting brand awareness, customer loyalty, and sales.

In a report by Ace Metrix, it scored an impressive 721 out of 950 on the Ace Score, evaluating its impact on viewers in terms of attention, watchability, persuasion, information, relevance, desire, and change.

Additionally, it secured a remarkable 9.3 out of 10 on the Emotional Sentiment Index, reflecting viewers’ emotional responses.

The report characterized the commercial as “a rare example of an ad that is both highly entertaining and highly effective.”

The Future of the Hump Day Geico Commercial

The Hump Day Geico commercial has maintained popularity for over 10 years.

It has been updated and adapted for various occasions, including the Super Bowl, Olympics, and the pandemic.

Adaptations extend to different media platforms such as podcasts, games, and social media.

The commercial actively supports social causes, raising awareness and funds for animal welfare, education, and health.

Proven as a timeless and universal advertising piece, appealing to a diverse audience.

Demonstrates the effectiveness of viral marketing in generating significant exposure, engagement, and brand influence.

Serves as an inspiration and challenge for advertisers and marketers to create more innovative and memorable content.

Beyond an ad, the Hump Day Geico commercial has become a cultural phenomenon set to entertain and inspire future generations.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Sunday Hump Day?
Wednesday is commonly known as Hump Day. It’s the day of the week that represents the middle of the workweek, meaning that once you get over the hump of Wednesday that you’re on the backside of the week and closer to the weekend. Wednesday, therefore, has a theme for most people.
What can you say about Hump day?
The phrase “Hump Day” could have originated in the 20th Century, but it is unknown who made the phrase. Why is Wednesday ‘Hump Day’? Wednesday is in the middle of the week, so if you were climbing over a hill, it would be the tallest part.
When has Wednesday smiled?
Wednesday’s genuine smile only appeared when she saw her beloved Uncle Fester, highlighting their special connection and showing that some things never change in the Addams Family.
What is the most popular Geico commercial?
Hump Day! every Wednesday. It quickly became a cultural phenomenon and is one of Geico’s most popular commercials. The ‘Hump Day’ Geico commercial features a talking camel who enthusiastically announces that it’s ‘Hump Day’ to a group of office workers every Wednesday, causing a mix of amusement and annoyance.
How much does GEICO spend on commercials?
Ad spend of selected insurance brands in the U.S. in 2022
In 2022, GEICO ranked as the most-advertised insurance brand in the United States, with a measured media ad spend of over 1.5 billion U.S. dollars. Progressive ranked second, with nearly 1.4 billion dollars invested in measured media spending.

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