Geico's Gecko Makes the Brand's Caveman Green With Envy

Only one can be a legend, it seems

Which brand will take home the 2024 Super Clio for the best Super Bowl commercial? We'll find out on Feb. 12.

Geico's caveman feels kind of small these days, overshadowed by the brand's beloved gecko.

That sad, silly tale unfolds in a 2-minute spot from The Martin Agency. It drops tomorrow during NBC's Sunday Night Football on Peacock.

Caveman curls up with his wife watch a Geico doc on TV, assuming it puts him squarely in the spotlight. But the program—"Legend of the Lizard," a real production from the insurance company—hypes the gecko instead.

"Legend of the Lizard" runs 15 minutes, and we're told it will "release ahead of the Super Bowl," per press materials.

Geico keeps teasing a Big Game tie, but its level of involvement with adland's biggest event—if any—remains unknown.The caveman's return to ads after a lengthy hiatus serves as another example of brands leveraging SB hype whether or not they pony up $7 million to run ads in-game.

"As the documentary started taking shape, we wanted to paint a realistic profile of our reptile," Martin creative director and copywriter Graham Unterberger tells Muse. "But we knew it'd be insanely boring if everything was sunshine and rainbows. So, we needed to bring in different perspectives—and the caveman came to mind. Catching up with him gave us a way to bring the brand back down to earth in a hilariously honest way."

Jeff Daniel Phillips gives a nice performance as the pouty pre-human, returning to a role he played during the character's mid-2000s heyday. (Good luck "processing" those hurt feelings, chum.)

Annie Sertich provides able support as the caveman's beleaguered bride in low-key spots directed by World War Seven's David Shafei.

So far, the caveman's comeback has been decidedly understated. That works to the concept's advantage. As the campaign slowly builds, Geico's wise not to overplay its hairy hand.

World War 7 director David Shafei says he concentrates on "playing it straight and letting the jokes work for themselves. However, it's not a joke that the gecko is one of the most influential figures in business and advertising. So, of course, he got his own prestige documentary."

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