Why Geico’s gecko is now a cockney yob

GeicogeckoResponding to an AdFreak post recently, angry_youth asked, “Can someone explain why the [Geico] gecko sounds like an extra from a Guy Ritchie film? Seriously, who decided the Geico company spokesperson should sound like a cockney yob?” The answer is: Framestore, the visual-effects and computer-animation studio that worked with The Martin Agency on the nine new Geico spots. (Click on the Quicktime link on Framestore’s Web site to see a few of the spots.) On the same site, a Framestore creative explains the process: “Our role was similar to that of an acting coach. We used our CG experience to train the new gecko guy to act cheekier and show a lot more ‘sales savvy.’ Ultimately we honed an East End geezer type performance, and his cockney accent and mannerisms make for tons of fresh comedic possibilities.” So there it is: Cockney = humor. It’s as simple as that. Or maybe not quite so simple: “We broke away from the very precise anatomical proportions and gave him slightly longer arms and legs that we could articulate to make him more expressive. The lip sync was also quite challenging; he does a lot of talking in 30 seconds, and his cockney accent causes him to combine several words in one go. It’s a very subtle style of animation for a spot like this.”

—Posted by Tim Nudd