15 minutes can save you... well, you know.
GEICO’s advertising campaigns are well known for using strange off-the-wall or satirical humor, usually to reinforce an advertising slogan. GEICO has several mascots
, the most famous of which is Gecko, the cute anthropomorphic lizard known for his trademark Australian Accent
. Following the Gecko are the racially offended cavemen, Kash, the creepy stalking wad of cash with googly eyes, Michael Mcglone
, the Film Noir
spokesman who asks rhetorical questions with the same answer to “Can GEICO really save you 15% or more on car insurance?” and lately Maxwell the Pig has cropped up in a slew of commercials as well (debuting in one of Mcglone's commercials, as a matter of fact).
GEICO now has its own YouTube channel
, where you can watch some of their commercials online.
Recurring characters and segments:
- The GEICO Gecko: Their original charming reptilian mascot. He would frequently promote GEICO while being in humorous situations.
- He wasn't always so buddy buddy with the company however, in fact his first appearances (when he was played by Kelsey Grammer—yes, that Mr. Grammer) had him complaining about people confusing the word gecko for GEICO and informing them that they should call the insurer if they needed to save money on car insurance and stop calling him unless they, ya know, needed an actual gecko to do whatever it is that a talking gecko does...
- Maxwell the Pig: A reoccurring character who's the little piggy who cried "weeee" all the way home and can fly (at least on a plane). Interestingly enough, Maxwell's commercials were a Spin-Off of the Michael Mcglone commercials.
- "I've got good news". A character presents some bad news to another, then follows up with "I've got good news. I just saved 15% or more on my car insurance by switching to GEICO."
- GEICO Cavemen: A group of Neanderthals living in modern time who are offended by GEICO's slogan: "So easy a caveman can do it." Spawned an extremely short-lived Sitcom called Cavemen on ABC.
- Blueprint commercials
- My Great Rides
- GEICO Racing
- 15 Minutes Online
- TRS: The Real Scoop: A satirical parody of E! True Hollywood Story documenting the lives of fictional characters, ending with how they saved hundreds in car insurance.
- The money you could be saving: A series of ads involving a creepy wad of cash watches you to a cover of Rockwell's "Somebody's Watching Me" (performed by Mysto & Pizzi). It's the money you could be saving by switching to GEICO.
- Talking inanimate objects
- Not An Actor: A voiceover introduces the person on camera as an actual GEICO customer and not an actor. So they contribute an actor or other performer to spice up the testimonial.
- Rhetorical Questions Campaign: Commercials that feature Michael Mcglone asking: "Could switching to GEICO really save you 15% or more on car insurance?" and answering with a rhetorical question and a comical Cutaway Gag.
- Short Stories and Tall Tales
- Easier Way to Save
- Get Happy, Get GEICO: These commercials show a humorous scene before two guys named Ronny and Jimmy ask how happy are people who switch to GEICO before referencing the scene.
- Did You Know...?: This is one of their newer ones, with someone saying, "Did you know that GEICO can save you 15% or more on your car insurance?" The other person says yes and then says, "Did you know...", followed by a Little Known Fact. Then the scene cuts to a literal depiction of that.
- Made of Money: A man made entirely of money rides by, presumably to imply that you too could be "made of money" if you save money by switching to GEICO. Seen only in the ads for GEICO motorcycle and boat insurance.
- The Hump Day Camel, whose commercial went viral. Also showed up in a No Talking Or Phones Warning called "Movie Day!"
- Rocky and Bullwinkle, from the TV show of the same name, recently appeared (in crisp, fresh animation, no less) in the commercial "The Gecko's Journey."
- It's what you do: The newest spin, this one shows a scene of a regularly recurring thing, like a horror movie character making bad decisions, saying "If you're this, you do this. It's what you do." Then saying GEICO saves money on car insurance, 'cuz it's what they do.
GEICO commercials provide examples of:
- All Cavemen Were Neanderthals
- Answer Cut: The "Did you Know?" and "Rhetorical questions" campaigns.
- Bad News, Irrelevant News: One series of ads was like this. A guy talks to someone else, saying "I've got bad news. [insert story here]...but I've got good news: I just saved a bunch of money on my car insurance by switching to GEICO!" which of course is of no use whatsoever to the person hearing those words.
- Bait and Switch: A variation on the Bad News, Irrelevant News series: parody ads for the promotion of fictitious products, anything from fast food to long-distance phone service to a reality TV show. After hyping the product in question and what they do, the parody ends thus: "But it won't save you any money on car insurance." Then the GEICO slogan appears, after which the commercial reverts back to the phony product with the announcer(s) declaring, "Why haven't you called GEICO?"
- Being Watched: Kash, the wad of money. It's always follows you, and it's always watching you.
Background Music: I always feel like somebody's watching me....
- Breakout Character: Often—beginning with everyone's favorite Gecko. Then there's Maxwell the pig, who originally showed up in one of the Mike Mc Glone commercials. And then...the excited-about-"Hump-DAY!!!" camel.
- Apparently, people thought the cavemen were this, too—hence the sitcom. Didn't catch on—and the company stuck to commercials.
- Contemporary Caveman: Somehow, cavemen are a minority group.
- Cross Over: Yes, their ad campaigns meet. "Could switching to Geico really save you 15% on car insurance? Did cavemen invent fire?" *Caveman in modern house snaps fingers. Fireplace comes on.*
- One of the Gecko's commercials featured a cameo appearance by the Taco Bell Dog.
- People who switch to GEICO are happier than the Pillsbury Doughboy on his way to a baking convention.
- The Gecko and Caleb The Camel appeared in an M&M's commercial.
- And of course, several commercials featuring Looney Tunes characters.
- Cutaway Gag: They go way out of their way for these.
- The Get Happy, Get GEICO campaign inverts it; the gag sets up the description as the punchline.
- Deadpan Snarker: The Gecko.
- Facepalm: The Gecko, when the company briefly considers using a campy cartoon version of him.
"So you've turn me into a cartoon. Lovely."
- Also, with the Gecko, Rocky and Bullwinkle. Rocky is the one who does the facepalm first. The Gecko just catches on to it.
Rocky: Aww, come on, Bullwinkle. They're named after-
Bullwinkle: First president George Rockington!
*Rocky looks at Gecko*
Gecko: That doesn't even make any sense, Mr. ...uh... Winkle.
- Fantastic Racism: The cavemen really don't like the phrase "So easy a caveman can do it." Having to deal with casual prejudice is a focus of the show.
- Hollywood Gecko: The Gecko, of course.
- Implausible Deniability: The in-commercial version of Geico claims they didn't know the cavemen were still around, even though the original commercial had the one offended be part of the film crew.
- In a World: One ad of their "not an actor" campaign had a customer testimonial assisted by Don LaFontaine.
"In a world where both our cars were totally underwater..."
- Is The Answer To This Question "Yes"?: Michael Mcglone's ads are centered around this trope.
- Large Ham: The Gecko in the flat tire ad.
"SOMEONE HELP ME, I HAVE A FLAT TIRE!!!"
- The camel, too, is especially fun to watch: "Guess what day it is!"
- Bullwinkle, from the Rocky Mountains commercial (part of the Gecko's Journey), could also likely be considered for this trope.
- Mascot: Several. The Gecko is the most famous.
- Metafictional Device: To demonstrate that words really can hurt you, a character is knocked off a horse by giant words reading "The End"
- Shout-Out: Both the Michael Mcglone ads and the Gecko ads have at times featured Looney Tunes characters.
- Talks Like a Simile
"Jimmy, how happy are folks who save hundreds of dollars on car insurance?" Jimmy:
"Happier than [insert inverse Cutaway Gag