Martin Withholds Geico’s Gecko, ‘Good News’

ATLANTA The Martin Agency has launched nine TV spots for Geico that do not use the iconic gecko or “Good news” theme, the agency said.

The commercials will run nationally on broadcast and cable networks in rotation with existing ads that use the familiar image and theme. The Richmond, Va., Interpublic Group agency has produced more than 120 TV spots for the insurance company in the decade it has held the account.

Three of the new commercials are designed to drive traffic to Geico’s Web site. The ads use the theme, “Even a caveman can do it”—a claim that the spots reveal has insulted cavemen across the nation, who demand an apology. In subsequent ads, the company apologizes, explaining that it didn’t know cavemen still existed.

Three other spots use infomercial and reality-show formats to encourage people to call the company’s toll-free number for insurance quotes. The other three use the familiar “In the time it takes to call Geico” slogan in humorous situations.

“When you run the kind of media weight we do, it’s great to have the creative variety these mini-campaigns give us,” said Ted Ward, vp of marketing at Geico. “We are eager to get this new work into our rotation and have it start working for us.”

Geico spent about $200 million on advertising last year and $175 million through July 2004, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus.