The World’s Greatest Spokesperson in the World

When I first saw this commercial, I got a bit excited. I liked the build-up and I thought it was hilarious that this “person” fled society and chose to live in the wilderness. As soon as I saw him, I braced myself for a good laugh. I was ready to give praise about how “genius” this idea was. “You’re the best I’ve ever seen! The best… anyone… has ever… seen!” (Great line!) And then I thought, “This caveman looks a bit different. He’s missing a brow ridge.” He walked like a duck and talked like a duck, but he wasn’t a duck after all. Next I find out that it’s a commercial for Nationwide Insurance. Huh!?

I thought it was Geico all the way. They even showed a photo of The World’s Greatest Spokesperson in the World (Great title!) and I thought he was supposed to be a cleaned up caveman. Wow! Nationwide might be doing itself a disservice with this ad. People already associate Geico with top-notch spots.  Now maybe it’s my own ignorance at play here. Maybe I’m just not aware of this “character.” If I were working for Geico I would think “Hey, this is great. We’re getting a free ride!” The premise of the caveman is that he’s always offended by Geico’s commercials. He’s actually quite sophisticated, but Geico still positions him as primitive so he gets an attitude and walks off. I thought it was brilliant for Geico to imply that the caveman quit for good and that the execs are begging him to come back, but that just wasn’t the case.

While the title is cool I just think it belongs to someone else. There’s an untold power in the ability to name things. It may not have been framed in this context, but if someone asked me who the greatest character in all of advertising was prior to seeing this commercial still it would have been the caveman. Hands down! There is actually another character who I think is the best, but I rarely see ads for his product so I’m not going to count him. I’ll be doing a separate post on “The Most Interesting Man in the World.” All of this seems pretty critical, but it’s only because Nationwide has shown that Geico doesn’t have the market cornered on top-notch concepts.