Friday, July 14, 2006

advertizing



Isn't he adorable? Last night, our TV night, I saw one of the Geico Car Insurance ads, and I have no idea what the company wants to say to me, but golly, I just adore this little guy. I noticed that his accent's changed a bit, and I think it sounds warmer and more friendly, with a touch of vulnerability.

I am not unique. The Geico gecko, who debued in his commercials telling a crowd to please stop dialing his number, as he was a lizard and not an insurance company, has become so popular that last year the lizard was named top ad icon along with Juan Valdez, as part of Advertising Week in New York.

Actor Kelsey Grammer supplied the original voice for the Geico Gecko, in that first ad. Now, English actor Jake Wood is behind the Cockney-accented voice in the latest batch of Geico commercials. Not everyone likes this change, but I do.

A guy named Philip Weiss blogs about this kind of thing, and wrote a recent piece about the gecko, and about why he likes the little guy so much.

I also noticed that the Geico Car Insurance page has a cute little blog set up for the lizard, and the insurance company's website is also happy for you to have one of several screen savers, icons, and calendars.

There's also an extensive giftshop, where one can actually obtain a gecko in a snowglobe. Really. Or maybe a gecko wobbilly, which is a green weeble. Apparel, trinkets, pens, even a geckopoly game can be yours!

Oh, and somewhere on the site, one can actually do some insurance-related business. If it's not all about the lizard. Mr. Gecko is definitely the star, here.

22 comments:

Traci said...

I just love this little guy. My favorite is still the early ad, when he gets out of the shower to answer the phone. There is something inherently funny about a lizzard in a towel.

Fred said...

Kelsey Grammer was the original voice? My guess is he wanted to much money going forward, so they just found someone to do it on the cheap.

You're right - they need to be careful that the lizard doesn't overtake the brand. If people don't make the association, there's a lot of money wasted.

Tan Lucy Pez said...

Your dad and I LOVE this lizard! We stop talking when he comes on and listen to him. I'm actually planning to check out their insurance rates too, when our car insurance expires in October.

Pavel said...

He's also a favorite of mine. My other favorite character is the Aflac duck, voiced by the most recognizable character.

Saur♥Kraut said...

I DO love the gecko. I don't like that accent much, but that's OK. It's no biggie to me. He's soooooo cute, though!

Smurf said...

I have always found him cute! I used to work for Progressive... *gasp* ... lol... but I don't any longer... but regardless the gecko is classic regardless...

OldHorsetailSnake said...

2-1 he doesn't sound British on the Spanish language gecko channel.

He's certainly not in Kansas anymore. (Or, my goodness, could it be a "miss" with a deep voice?)

AP3 said...

I guess I know what to get your for your birthday now...

He is pretty cute.

Sar said...

Aren't we collectively something? It takes an adorable animated non-human to atract our attention in a business format.

That said, he is an engaging little Gecko and you sure did your homework, Actonbell! :D

Minka said...

Gecko? never seen him before, but I'd vote for him :)Adorable he is!

Doug said...

I like the gecko, too. He reminds me of Ricky Gervais with the new accent.

Doug said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Joel said...

I think the new voice has made the gecko much more distinctive...they have clearly hit upon a breakthrough icon here...wonder if it will help sell more insurance? Remember the old "plop, plop, fizz, fizz, oh what a relief it is" Alka Seltzer commercials? Award winners...most recognizable theme by the public, etc., etc., Product sales actually declined during that campaign. Viewers loved the humor but didn't connect the spot to the product. Ya just never know.

tsduff said...

I like the lizard more than I like Geico... I happen to have that brand of insurance and it isn't as cheap as they make you think. But the lizard rocks.

tsduff said...

I also have plenty of Geico squirrels living in my yard - they lose the battle with cars more often than I'd like. But they make you slow down to a complete stop before slowly scampering out of the way...I'm still waiting to see them high-five each other.

Jamie Dawn said...

I think they should have a campaign called Name the Geico Gecko. I remember when Honey Nut Cheerios had a campaign to name their bee. I sent in an entry, but mine was not chosen. The winning name for the bee was Buzzbee, and they still use that name today.
The Geico gecko is so cute!! I love that little fella.

G said...

To above, I just add - love the gecko! Hmmmm - a snowglobe?

neva said...

i actually *did* know that Kelsey Grammer did the original voice (for what it's worth). but i agree.. i like the new version much more--and think the commercials are quite clever.

that said, Geico broke our hearts last year, when they cancelled us. why? well, we suspect it's because our youngest son wrecked his car 3 times and backed into someone else's BMW (smashing the door, a $3000 repair) in the course of 6 months, but we can't be sure. okay, we're sure. which is why we no longer allow him to drive our cars. oh, and in case ya wondered, the last "wreck" happened when he let his unlicensed buddy to drive his car, and the kid hit a rock, the car swerved & hit a tree and was TOTALED (all the kids were fine, thank god). it was a really cute 2005 Ford Escape. Geico sent us a check for $21,000 and dropped us like a bad habit...and never looked back.

i miss that little gecko. i really do.

The Lazy Iguana said...

The problem is that like ALL insurance companies, they act like a cold blooded reptile stuck in Iceland for the winter when it comes time to pay a claim!

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