I’ve mentioned Geico a number of times since the blog got started, but I haven’t dedicated an entire post yet. Well it’s about that time. A professor of mine once said (in Strategy and Positioning) that Geico breaks all the rules. I agree to an extent. Its campaigns aren’t really consistent; it has a spokesman and a mascot; and it isn’t the best nor the first yet Geico remains the most popular. At this stage in the game Geico is the peacock of the auto insurance industry. It doesn’t have to do much at all to stand out and that’s precisely how it can get away with spots like this.
I thought this was a brilliant spot (A copy writer’s dream). It’s a testament to Geico’s ability to occupy any position it pleases. The gecko was charming, the caveman was sophisticated, the bad accidents were counterintuitively tactless, and now Mr. Announcer assures us that greatness of Geico is meant to be taken for granted. Each spot is more subtle and more humble than the one that came before it. It’s like an “anti-pissing contest.”
Geico’s ads are so random it’s like throwing spaghetti at the wall to see what sticks. I think the only true safe bet it has is the gecko himself. The caveman has more or less gone on hiatus. I did see one recent caveman spot, but it wasn’t anything special. The difference between the mascot and the spokesman is that the mascot has everything to gain by being personified. The spokesman stands to lose everything by being personified. In other words, the gecko is so down to Earth, people want him to be anything but a gecko. The pretentious caveman wants to be anything but a caveman. He defines his situation while the gecko is defined by his situation. The gecko will survive anywhere.