Mill Creek Musings

When I watch the Super Bowl, I enjoy the commercials as much as the game. My favorite this year was the Budweiser ad showing the Dalmatian who became the Clydesdales trainer so that he could make the team the following year. There is something captivating about anthropomorphism (animals behaving like humans). Think Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, etc. Advertisers know that America is a nation of pet lovers. When they pair a cute animal with their product, we viewers will form a positive association. A classic example of this is the reptilian mascot of GEICO, the Gecko. An ad agency came up with the idea because of the similarity in the two names. The original ad showed the Gecko complaining about getting GEICOs phone calls. In 2005 the GEICO Gecko was voted the top advertising icon. He beat out the Aflac duck and Taco Bells Chihuahua. His voice, recorded by four different people, has changed over the years from a stiff British accent, to Australian, and finally Cockney. Cockney refers to working-class people who live in the East End of London. Our Gecko wants to be a regular sort of guy, your every man. As the Gecko walks upright on a moving escalator he says, Youre a good friend, so I have something special for you. He promises that GEICO will not only save you money on car insurance but that they have real people in their office who will give you tea and crumpets with marmalade. Then he shamefacedly admits that the last part is a complete fabrication. I havent changed my brand of car insurance to GEICO yet, but I welcome the appearance of that little green fellow every time I see him on my home television screen.

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