Proven: the most annoying advert works, the Opera singer is a hit

Gio Compare

Gio Compare

Following on from my early comparison site advert missive on Moneysupermarket’s Omid Djalli there’s more news in the sector, this time about the GoCompare Opera singer. It’s without a doubt the most annoying financial advert, garnering 50% of the vote (see most annoying ads poll, yet a new story shows it’s a massive hit for the company…

This isn’t a surprise for me, a few weeks ago I wrote a blog on are annoying ads are really bad? I wondered whether the attention and name recognition they bring paid dividends. I was put off this theory slightly by the number of people in the blog’s forum discussion that postured it couldn’t be good as they’d never use the site – even though it’s currently one of the top pick car insurance comparison sites.

Yet the following press release has just dropped into my in-box…

“Gio Compario,’s fictional opera singing ad character, has helped drive a 20 per cent increase in customer numbers for the comparison site with over 2 million insurance quotes a month in January and February.

Full details are attached but if you would like to talk to, find out more about this story or need pictures please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Gio drives to record results
Opera singing character’s campaign produces over 2 million insurance quotes a month

Gio Compario, the larger than life opera singing character from the TV adverts, has helped drive record customer numbers for the insurance comparison site.

The campaign, which launched in August 2009, has driven a 20 per cent increase in customer numbers for over the last six months and, in the first two months of 2010, has helped generate over four and a half million quotes for insurance alone.

The campaign stars opera singer Wynne Evans who recorded the reworked George M Cohan classic ‘Over there’ as well as acting in the ads. So far Gio has been seen popping up in coffee shop and restaurant settings, as well as jumping out of a cupboard in a finishing school and hovering over suburban driveways.’s head of marketing, Nick Hall, said: “We’ve seen a dramatic increase in brand awareness since the campaign started – up by 450%* – which puts us at the top of the price comparison category, and this has ultimately converted into record customer numbers. The aim was always to differentiate the brand and put some fun and personality into the ads and to date it has worked exactly as planned.

“Gio is a great character with huge audience recall and we are looking forward to developing the campaign further in 2010. It will be interesting to see how Gio evolves.”

Wynne Evans, who plays the fictional tenor said; “Gio is great fun to play, he’s a larger than life comic opera character and it is a role you can really throw yourself into. I’ve always enjoyed playing the comic parts as well as the more serious stuff, so I think Gio is a combination of all those great comic opera characters. Everyone seems to know the character now and I get so many people singing it back to me. The reaction has been amazing so I’m not surprised at how well it is working for”

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