It's stupid and silly and really seems to have nothing to do with auto insurance, but the new purple stain on your cashmere proves it's effective.
GEICO is the first company most people think of when hearing auto insurance. And it's not on the strength of their insurance, it's their absurdist commercials that feature a gecko with a Cockney accent, cave men and now a humanoid pig.
The latest features Elmer Fudd. Kudos on being able to use Looney Tunes characters, Geico!
I'm talking about the clip after the jump. Letterman is sitting alone in his office reading the paper when he's visited by a certain ad mascot. I think we've all had the desire to do that to the thing but we haven't found it on our desks.
(Note: some people are saying that since this aired the night before Letterman's blackmailer was arrested that this was a subtle call out to the blackmailer. But I don't really see it, since, as Aaron Barnhart says, Letterman doesn't write the sketches and probably didn't tell his writers about the scandal.)
The lizard is still popular though, and he's in more places than ever. Like videos made by famous YouTube stars. [via Adfreak]
Mrs. Butterworth's is having a Guess Mrs. Butterworth's First Name contest. If you guess the name, you win enough maple syrup to drown a small town plus $500.
The only thing I don't get is whether she actually has a first name already and we have to guess what it is or if she doesn't have a first name and they're going to pick the best name to use in future ads. Either way, it will be cool to see a name you came up with used in TV commercials, eh? She's been around for a while, so I really doubt her first name is something like Kelly or Jennifer or Lindsey or Britney. I'm gonna go with Beatrice. Yeah, Beatrice Butterworth sounds about right.
Here are a few commercials from over the years to give you some ideas.
You've probably seen the ads. This stack of money with just a pair of eyes resting on top of it shows up at various places and symbolizes the amount of money a person could save if they switched to Geico. He shows up at a restaurant next to a couple eating, he shows up on the roof of a house where men are working, and he shows up on the edge of a wooden post next to a man working in a yard or field. They're joined by a guy who drives up in his car asking for directions. He could have saved money too.
A few critics have actually said good things about Cavemen. Surprised? Yeah, well apparently it's not as uncommon as we might think. As this New York Times article details, there have been positive reviews of the show, but they've been mostly overshadowed by the enormous negative press it has received since before its premiere.
From the beginning, the hastily-produced pilot lead to critics thinking Cavemen was just a show relying on thinly veiled racial humor, with the cavemen standing in for African-Americans. Then they started talking about what a terrible idea the concept was (if it's funny for a thirty second commercial, that doesn't mean it's funny for thirty minutes). But was the show doomed from the start? Did all the negative publicity lead to more negative reviews of those early episodes than they could have rightly earned?
ABC is not showing the retooled and reshot Cavemen to TV critics.
Now, this could be a strategy, a la CBS and Kid Nation, to not show the pilot of a show that has been savaged by critics and the industry, to create buzz, or it could be a matter of not showing it to critics because it's just bad, like when movie studios don't let movie critics screen a bad film before it opens on a Friday.
You would think that the early, painful demise of The Nine, Kidnapped, Smith, Six Degrees, and other new dramas this season that there would be more comedy pilots picked up for the 2007 season. But according to The Hollywood Reporter, that's not the case.
Except for some solid buzz from a handful of comedies, including ABC's Sam I Am, ABC's Cavemen and Miss/Guided, and several shows at CBS, it looks like more dramas will make the schedule, including NBC's Bionic Woman and Journeyman, ABC's Dirty Sexy Money and Pushing Daisies, CBS' Babylon Fields, The Man, and Viva Laughlin. The new Jimmy Smits drama might replace Close To Home on Fridays, while FOX has the much-hyped Sarah Connor Chronicles, K-Ville, and Them.
A lot of people said "huh?" when it was announced that ABC had ordered a pilot for a new series based on the Geico commercials featuring cavemen, and now it looks like those people may have been on to something.
Early word on the show is that it's "astoundingly awful," "without a laugh in sight," "jaw-droppingly horrendous," and makes American Dad look sophisticated. But I wonder how these people who saw the pilot really feel. The reviews come from someone at Ain't It Cool News.
The part that upsets me the most? The actors from the commercials aren't even in the show! So...what the hell?
- Audience members should never dance when there are cameras around.
- An interview with a Geico caveman.
- Is this really what American Idol has come to?
- Mo Rocca asks: which country should Angelina adopt from next?
- The Green Hornet is finally coming to the big screen.
- A rather bizarre episode of Gumby, remastered. What's he doing on the moon?
- Did Carlos Mencia steal an old Bill Cosby bit?
- And introducing: The Poopy Bastard.
This has got to be a joke.
Joe Lawson, the man behind the Geico caveman commercials that have become so popular, says that the show that is in development with ABC is going to be a drama, not a sitcom that had been previously reported by, well, just about everyone:
"The prejudice the cavemen experience in their everyday lives is a metaphor for racism, and I don't see how anyone could find racism remotely funny...well, except when it's supposed to be, like on 'Chapelle's Show' or a Michael Richards stand-up routine.
As a former anthropology teacher, I'm curious to hear the origin story of these particular cavemen. Despite the lowered brow, they're clearly bipedal and have mastered the use of simple tools. Could they be Neanderthal descents? Or, maybe I'm barking up the wrong fossilized evidence tree. Do you think they'd be offended if I asked whether or not they know Cha-Ka?
We've all talked about our favorite and least favorite TV commercials here at TV Squad. Boston.com has a poll today that asks readers to vote for the least and most annoying TV commercials of all-time. I have a few problems with it though. One, it focuses too much on classic commercials (what, no Head On? No Fitness Made Simple? No Viagra ads? No Toyota? - though it's good to see Dr. Z there), and two, it seems as if they're looking for votes on who likes or dislikes classic ad icons, and not necessarily the ads themselves. But it's a pretty good overview.
Oh, and if you take the survey, don't you dare call The Pillsbury Doughboy or the "Where's The Beef?" lady annoying!
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