Thursday, May 17, 2007

Gecko or caveman? You decide!

So working more-or-less a second-shift job, I watch a lot of daytime television. And in between all the TV judges and "Little House on the Prairie" re-runs (hey, don't laugh ... that show rocks!), I watch just as many commercials, plugging everything from diabetes medication refills to whole-term life insurance, from electric scooters designed to "give you back your mobility" to Life-Alert. (Kinda tells you who advertisers think are watching daytime TV, huh?)

And then there's Geico.

Now in the interest of full disclosure, I'm a Geico customer; have been for several years. I've never had a problem with them — their insurance is priced right, you can do everything online — but I can only invest my time and energy into one corporate mascot. Geico, though, gives us two, and herein lies my dilemma: They've got two different ad campaigns — one I love, one I hate!

Their gecko here kinda annoys me. He's got a British accent — yes, I've gotten past that he's a talking gecko, it's the accent with which he speaks that drives me nuts! — and he's kinda condescending, telling us just how simple Geico really is. Plus, some of the analogies he uses, trying to convince us to switch to Geico, are really stupid. "If you ask them for an English muffin ... and they'll hand you a buttered muffin." Just drives me up the wall!

As annoying as I find the gecko, I can't get enough of the cavemen. Not since Phil Hartman's "Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer" skits on "Saturday Night Live" have I derived so much enjoyment from a Neanderthal!

It all began with Geico telling us that they were so easy to use, "a caveman can do it," and took off. Now, we see cavemen getting mad at TV hosts belittling their inability to adapt to the modern world, pleading to their therapists about how they feel when Geico and others question their intelligence, and even getting together at a party — one caveman questions the other about his dedication to the species 'cause he signed up with Geico, while another celebrates hooking up with his cavewoman. "Tina's here. We're getting back together!"

Great stuff! Pure genius, those cavemen! So much, that ABC is developing a sit-com based on the Geico cavemen. The working title, you ask? "Cavemen." (Swear to God!)

They used to also have these annoying commercials with the real customers and the "celebrity" spokespeople. In short, they'd have alleged real customers tell their story of how great Geico is and then have someone like Little Richard, Burt Bacharach and Peter Graves (I know, sounds like the next season of "Surreal Life") recount their stories, so as to give them star-power. Don't even get me started on how much I hated those! Those commercials, though, have mercilessly seemed to stop running.

So here's my question: Why can't Geico just pick one gimmick and stick with it?! Instead of splitting their marketing money on two campaigns, why not sink all the dough into just one and fully develop the characters?

Anyone got a fav???

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

my favorite commercial is where he talks about the english muffins, and i CAN NOT find this video anywhere on the internet!!!!