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Thursday, March 11, 2010

Geckos, Geese & Loons

I've got a few things to share tonight.

It's no secret that the Government Employees Insurance Company is a marketing machine with a relentless and often brilliant advertising campaign system. I believe they currently have no less than four separate television ad campaigns running. These include:

1) the GEICO Cavemen, still a well of creativity despite an ill-conceived attempt at expanding its schtick into a sitcom;

2) the ongoing shenanigans of The Gecko and the Goofy Old CEO (coming soon to ABC, no doubt);

3) the headache-inducingly awful "that's the money you could be saving" series with that googly-eyed banded stack of cash, the blandest non-character since NBC's casting department hired Justin Bruening as the hero of their terrible Knight Rider sequel series, which thankfully quickly went the way of the cavemen; and

4) the latest, in which an affectedly serious Robert Stack type asks "Can switching to GEICO really save you money on car insurance?" and answers with "Does Charlie Daniels play a mean fiddle?" (he does), or "Did the Waltons take way too long to say goodnight?" (they did), or my personal favorite, "Does a ten-pound bag of flour make a really big biscuit?" (which I love because just a five-second shot of a little boy frosting a giant biscuit and his mother's reaction of resignation relays a world of information about this family's home life).

But recently, GEICO overlooked an obvious opportunity to employ their little gecko mascot. There is a radio commercial in which a voice states that humans blink something like 17,000 times a day. How that relates to car insurance, I don't recall. (Is it really important for me to remember anything about the actual product?) However, the voice in the ad is not the Gecko's voice, and it totally should be! Because then he could have said something like this (and remember to imagine this with the proper accent):

"The average human blinks once every five seconds. Well that's, what, more than 17,000 times a day! It's an awful lot o' blinking, i'nt it? Now just imagine, in the space of less than 200 blinks, you could save 15% or more on your car insurance. I don't have much personal experience on the subject, o' course. I haven't got any eyelids. I have to clean my eyes with my tongue, which is a bit more painstaking of a process, let me tell you."

To make it worse, another commercial followed which did feature the Gecko. Oh GEICO, you are getting sloppy.

On a related note, I was watching The Office tonight. During one commercial break, I was organizing my iTunes, as I obsessively tend to do. One of The Gecko and the Goofy Old CEO commercials came on, and I turned in my chair to return my full attention to the TV because I thought the show had come back on. It literally took me that entire motion of turning and staring at the screen, watching an animated lizard standing on a desk, to discern that I was, in fact, not watching The Office but a GEICO commercial. The realization process took waaaay too long. Maybe that little gecko just fits into that world so well. Or maybe there's an exposed wire in my brain. 

Or maybe it's time for a little shake-up in Scranton. Maybe it's time for a CGI lizard to join the cast. He can be voiced by John Oliver. Why not? Steve Carell, Ed Helms, and Larry Wilmore are all a part of the show. Why not one more Daily Show correspondent?

Now that I've written way more about that subject than I'd intended, let me switch gears. I went for a walk in the woods today, and as I was sitting by the lake, a couple of geese flew overhead. It made me think how fascinating geese are, how they always use the buddy system. If one has to separate from the rest of flock (or the skein, as it is called when a group of geese are in flight), another will go with it. Geese have such an amazing social structure.

This just in: Pat Robertson has just scientifically proven, after much research and controlled testing, that playing hand-held video games while sitting in the backseat of a car is a gateway drug to becoming addicted to pornography! (Either that, or, in the space of two sentences, he made a mental leap of what has only the barest resemblance to real logic. This is what I get for channel surfing at five in the morning. On the plus side, I was introduced to Cousin Larry, who had me entertained and delighted as he demonstrated his cousin's amazing cutlery. Yes, he was introduced as Cousin Larry. Yes, he was actually fun to watch. Yes, those knives do look awesome. Yes, I was watching this through bloodshot eyes at five in the morning.)

I leave you with this:

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Idleness is the mother of all evil.