'Hump Day' camel: Creators dish on TV ad's success


by CBS News


Posted on September 18, 2013 at 11:48 AM

Updated Wednesday, Sep 18 at 12:00 PM

NEW YORK -- Wednesday is long 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.

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."

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