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November 21, 2006

Geico Caveman Therapy.

It's not news that Geico is really on to something with these cavemen. I'm beginning to wonder, however, if this campaign shouldn't be crowned, "America's favorite advertising." Really. If you read all the comments on YouTube, you'd begin to believe that these commericals are universally loved. Ad people love it. Consumers love it. It sells. An all too rare confluence of events. Why are all the cavemen rich trust fund babies? Who knows, but it's funny. Tug told me about the spot above last night. I hadn't seen it. However, the punchline is one for the ages. AC says, "Go, cavemen. Go." Oh, here's the trailer for the Caveman movie. Truth is, I'd see it:


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Is it just me or did they really figure out the average American male. Strong yet vulnerable. fighting against a world that just doesn't understand. Bad things occurring regularly enough that one wishes there was some form of protection, something to keep everything from falling apart, something like Geico Automotive insurance.

I would pay money to see the creative brief.

A few years ago the Starbucks "Glen" spot with Survivor got me all excited. I pulled down a copy of it and showed everyone I could. I loved it so much that I couldn't understand why some were not as impressed as I was.

Now these Caveman spots have me all excited again. That it's not just one spot is more impressive. "Glen" was the one awesome spot in an otherwise horrible campaign. Geico has a brilliant campaign going, and I see it going a lot farther.

I too would love to see that creative brief. Someone must know someone whose cousin is in traffic at... Or, maybe in a few years it will be a case study.

I think if I saw one of these guys walking around now I wouldn't give them a second look, they seem so natural. And I actually remeber the product and seling point. Awesome campaign. I also think Tony Cornheiser (ESPN)kind of looks like one.

that's my husband john lehr! he's the caveman in the very first one, the boom operator that says NOT COOL! and then the's the one in the therapy session.

another one is on it's way.

anyway, since so many people love the commercials so much i posted john's transformation into the caveman on his website: johnlehr.com

you might also like to know that john is starring in a new show 10 ITEMS OR LESS that premieres' MONDAY, NOV. 27TH @ 11pm. i think people who appreciate the caveman sense of humor (john improvised most of his caveman lines) will appreciate the show as it is improvised. check it out.


jennifer lehr (proud wife)

I've got a problem with Gieco, and maybe you guys or Bill G or someone from the Martin Agency can help me out.

It's not that I don't love the cavemen. I love them. And I love that America loves them.

My problem is this: Why do I see three (count 'em, three) Gecko outdoor boards every day on my way to the office? Shouldn't I see the the same board with the "caveman stereotype" that the sensitive cavemen keep seeing in the TV spots? And on that note, why are they screwing around with Little Richard and Verne Troyer at the same time? I get that one campaign says "save you money" and the other says "easy-to-use web site." But 99% of America doesn't, and could care less. It's not that what's on tv doesn't match what's outdoors -- it's that what's on tv doesn't even match what's on tv.

So I guess my question is, if Gieco can create such transcendent creative, why can't they figure out the basics?

I painted the caveman in front of a computer in 2000 I copywrighted the piece "A Man Out Of His Element" Check it out @ newtonbynumbers.com

Face it, the commercial provides a safe outlet for you racist, bigoted freaks to laugh at people complaining about prejudice. Most of you would not dare laugh in public at a black person's objection to the "N word," but you can safely laugh at the caveman's silly "PC" objections. There's nothing funny about people's struggles against ignorance and bigotry. Laughing at those struggles legitimizes oppression. You ought to be ashamed.

I don't think calling people you don't know freaks and making vast generalizations about their beliefs is really the best way to make your point, CroMagnon, but, okay.

To the point, I don't think the spots make heros out of the "insensitive ones." The antagonists in the spots come off looking either dumb or despicable. The spots spread the lampooning around. In the end, it seems to me viewers identify with, and cheer for, the Cavemen not those who misunderstand them. That aspect of the spots prompted one author to make a case that the spots actually encourage racial empathy. As it turns out, you've already commented on that post, however, since you've brought this up for discussion both here and on Adfreak, the link below offers an alternate perspective for other readers to consider:

Geico Caveman: Envoy for the Other.

all i want to know is where the heck is all the caveman merchandise???
i'd love to get autographed photos(or maybe autographed rocks!) but the geico store only has icky geicko stuff.
they are missing the boat on this one!

American Copywriter, I apologize for the strong language in my previous post. After having been the "Caveman" for over 50 years, I tend to react strongly when I see my lifelong struggle for dignity being trivialized for commercial gain. You sound like a thoughtful person, so I hope you can understand. In one of the commercials, the news woman "scores" on the caveman by suggesting that he "got up on the wrong side of the rock." She is able to score with such a stupid comment because she speaks from a position of power. She is white, blonde, and attractive, and she has a national forum. I suggest to you that what people find most satisfying about the commercial is not laughing at the woman's insensitivity, but relishing the demonstration of raw power that she exercises over the caveman. She renders that whiny, stuck-up, politically correct caveman speechless with the most assinine comment because she speaks from a position of power that even the most ordinary white person enjoys in this country. The ads tend to legitimize that power. You note that the ads lampoon all sides and argue that this "even-handedness" makes the ads OK. I suggest to you that not all sides should be lampooned. Laughing at people's struggles for dignity trivializes those struggles and supports oppression. I hope you agree that's not a good thing?


Thanks for the response. We strive to keep exchanges on this blog civil because the world has so many other places for all things shrill.

You mention that you believe the "news woman scores" on the Caveman. I see the "news woman" as spoof of Ann Coulter (who is infamous for outrageous and polarizing quips akin to the one you cite). You believe people are relishing displays of power and I think they're laughing at the paradox of an intelligent and dapper Neanderthal dealing with the modern world in a modern way. I think it's funny. You don't in the least. Except for the mother joke. We can probably both laugh at that one. It's in the eye of the beholder. But, I'd suggest to you that it's advertising, so don't behold too much!

Comedy is a powerful tool in mass advertising. But comedy isn't pretty. There are bound to be disagreements about what is truly funny and what crosses a line (this is why most commericals are so bland).

Consider this: A sexy joke told on stage at 10 o'clock at night at a comedy club might make a crowd laugh out loud. The same joke in a commercial on TV at 10 o'clock at night might have that same crowd writing letters of disgust. The difference, of course, is that you CHOOSE the comedy club. Much to every ad creative and client’s chagrin, you don't often choose advertising. Yet, anyway. But as the line between traditional entertainment, which has some permission to examine and diffuse all our “stuff” with comedy, and the realms of advertising, which, to date, does not enjoy the same permission, continues to blur, we’ll continue to have thought-provoking discussions such as this.

Tarzan like caveman, caveman funny, Tarzan not get much work anymore, Tonto call me, he not like ad, ad make fun of men. Blonde woman need face smacked, ass too.

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