While our brand strength is not quantifiable, I believe it also grew significantly. When Berkshire acquired control of GEICO in 1996, its annual advertising expenditures were $31 million. Last year we were up to $502 million. And I can’t wait to spend more.
Our advertising works because we have a great story to tell: More people can save money by insuring with us than is the case with any other national carrier offering policies to all comers.
He has a good story and he can't wait to spend on ads to tell it. That's because his ads work, and he knows it - e.g. number of policies issued was up 26% in 2005.
BTW, Ad spend going from $31M to $502M in 9 years is a nice growth rate (CAGR) of 36%! Nice job by their agency - the Martin agency in Richmond, VA.