IPG’s Mediabrands has prevailed in the GEICO media review that was launched last fall. Horizon Media was the long-term outside incumbent, having serviced most traditional media channels (and some digital) for the account for more than two decades.
The insurance giant spent nearly $1.4 billion on measured media last year according to agency research firm COMvergence, with about $825 million earmarked for offline channel and $550 million tagged for digital.
Prior to the review Geico handled most of digital performance, search, and social in-house, and Horizon handled most traditional and some OTT and CTV.
“We are excited to work alongside IPG Mediabrands to transform how GEICO designs integrated marketing strategies connected to customer needs and measured by business outcomes,” stated GEICO CMO Damon Burrell. “The partnership marks a milestone in GEICO’s marketing evolution, and we look forward to reaching many more milestones with our new agency.”
Burrell joined GEICO as CMO last year a few months before the review kicked off.
According to the companies, their collaboration going forward “will modernize GEICO’s go to market approach, by generating data-driven solutions, reimagining conventional marketing frameworks, and maximizing media efficacy. The joint effort will propel the iconic brand’s marketing transformation to best support the customer needs of today and the years to come.”
GEICO’s long-time creative agency is The Martin Agency, also part of Interpublic.
“GEICO is a truly iconic brand, with marketing leadership that’s looking to spark even more innovation in how they engage with consumers,” stated Interpublic CEO Philippe Krakowsky. “We’re honored to extend our long-standing relationship as their creative partner and excited that we’ll now have the opportunity to bring to bear a range of media and precision capabilities on their behalf.
“By incorporating the full breadth of the contemporary, data-infused expertise at IPG Mediabrands, we can support the GEICO team as they go to market with an audience-led approach that will increase the value of each customer interaction and also drive growth.”
Bill Koenigsberg, Founder and CEO of Horizon issued a statement: “I have been personally blessed and professionally honored to have built a 29-year relationship with Geico – quite rare for this industry – and for Horizon to have made the tremendous business impact that we’ve made in that time, driving astronomical growth that took them from #8 to #2 in the auto insurance industry.
“We have accomplished things most agency partners only dream of – participating in, witnessing, and contributing to the creation of one of the most iconic brands ever, while defining and shaping an entire category along the way. We wish the newly-minted Geico management team well in their quest. Three decades is a great run, and now it’s time for us to provide that leadership and expertise elsewhere as we look to transform and grow other companies with as much success as we did for Geico.”
While the GEICO loss is blow to Horizon, the independent agency won some big accounts last year including the $400 million-plus Hershey’s business, which had been handled by IPG’s UM. Last year Horizon Media wins also included Kohl's, Lionsgate, BlueTriton Brands, Noom, Glanbia and Bombas.