Boyz II Men Sing Nostalgic (But New!) Life Into Geico’s ‘It’s What You Do’

Far from the end of the road

Headshot of Angela Natividad

After its reinvigoration some years ago, Geico is again breathing freshness into its “It’s What You Do” campaign … using a blast from the past. (When you think they’ll zag, they zig!)

In “Side Effects,” launching today, a woman at a pharmacy gets the run-down of her medication’s side-effects in the smoothest way possible—from ’90s R&B band Boyz II Men. These boys won’t just make old-school, sweater-ensconced love to you; they also make chronic flatulence sound positively romantic.

The idea is that if you’ve got bad news to share, these are the guys to call. But if you want to save 15 percent or more on car insurance—well, you know the rest of this spiel.

The Martin Agency’s “Side Effects” is part of a wider sub-campaign in which Boyz II Men help you share all kinds of bad news, helpfully described below.

This gives the brand a chance to extend the gag to lot of subjects, from bad haircuts…

…to bad Tinder dates.

These accompanying clips are short enough, and the brand’s watermark subtle enough, that you actually can use them to convey bad news. As the Boyz themselves say, why wait ’til the water runs dry?

We’ll wrap up with what’s always the funnest part of work like this—the bloopers for “Side Effects,” which confirms something we’ve long suspected: Boyz II Men are fun to work with, and they don’t mind making fun of their own odd niche, as trapped in time as their matching sweaters are.

If they’ve managed to survive where bands of their ilk vanished into the ether, it’s probably also because they seem like awfully nice guys who are committed to what they do, even as the world has changed. Also, hey! Geico also gets the chance to tell people of a certain age that it’s as obsessed with the ’90s as we are.


@luckthelady Angela Natividad is a frequent contributor to Adweek's creativity blog, AdFreak. She is also the author of Generation Creation and co-founder of Hurrah, an esports agency. She lives in Paris and when she isn't writing, she can be found picking food off your plate.