Geico “Ranch”

The sledgehammer-wielding old coot in this new Geico spot looks like the protagonist of a series of horror movies. (The vignette here could be the opening scene of Ranch Hand VI: The Bludgeoning.) Created by The Martin Agency of Richmond, Va., the commercial is nothing if not weird as it adds to the body of work starring a character the shop refers to as “Kash” — a bundle of cash, topped by a pair of eyeballs, that represents the money consumers could save by switching their car insurance to Geico. Indeed, I suspect some viewers will feel there’s a surplus of weirdness here, with the two sources of it (the coot and the cash) upstaging one another. Think of the contrast to Geico’s caveman spots, where everything is studiously normal — except for the fact that the lead character is a caveman. Still, it’s quite funny when the coot tells the prissy driver (who has asked, in vain, for directions to Route 70) that the weary-looking stack of cash “must’ve been followin’ you for miles. Looks tired!” As such, it helps sustain the basic likability of the Geico brand. –Mark Dolliver