Ad of the Day: Geico’s New Mom Character Is So Good, They Couldn’t Do Just One Spot

Cindy Drummond gives Martin plenty of material

In The Martin Agency's latest "It's What You Do" ad for Geico, a James Bond-style super-spy takes an unexpected phone call that severely cramps his style just as the bad guys and helicopter close in.

Check out the spot here to find out who's on the other end of the line:

Whoa, the squirrels are back in the attic, and Dad won't call an exterminator!? That's just one of the scintillating topics to savor when you hear from Mama, with love. She calls at the worst times. That's what she does.

"My mom is guilty of this," Martin senior copywriter Ken Marcus tells Adweek. "She's always calling at the worst time. I guess if you're a retiree, you forget things like work hours."

Note the squirrels racing through the yard behind Mom as she makes the call. Nice touch from Hungry Man director Wayne McClammy. But why focus on moms in the first place?

"Moms call a lot," says agency creative director Sean Riley. "I think most people would see some truth there. The hard part is finding the funny twist to the story. We just thought it was fun to contrast a mundane phone call with the seriousness of a spy scene."

It's a tried-and-true trope, essentially a cliché, but actress Cindy Drummond really shines. So much so, in fact, that Martin extended the bit beyond the 30-second "Spy" commercial with shorter "Momversations" showcasing her delightful deadpan delivery and penchant for amusing ad-libs on topics like tattoos, hashtags and beaver-like rodents called nutrias.

"She's a better writer than I am," says Marcus. "She kept giving us so much fun material. It would have been a shame to leave that all behind on a hard drive somewhere."

"We had to do a lot of extra takes on the line, 'Your father was attacked by a big angry beaver,' " says Riley. "Cindy cracked up every time."

Client: Geico
Vice President, Marketing: Ted Ward
Director, Marketing: Bill Brower
Senior Manager, Marketing: Melissa Halicy
Marketing Supervisor: Mike Grant
Marketing Buyers: Tom Perlozzo, Brighid Griffin, Katherine Kalec
Marketing Specialist: Julia Nass

Agency: The Martin Agency
Chief Creative Officer: Joe Alexander
Group Creative Directors: Wade Alger, Steve Bassett
Creative Director: Sean Riley
Senior Copywriter: Ken Marcus
Executive Producer: Brett Alexander
Senior Broadcast Producer: Heather Tanton
Junior Broadcast Producer: Sara Montgomery
Group Account Director: Brad Higdon
Account Executives: Jon Glomb, Allison Hensley
Account Coordinator: Allie Waller
Business Affairs Supervisor: Suzanne Wieringo
Financial Account Supervisor: Monica Cox
Senior Production Business Manager: Amy Trenz
Project Manager: Karen McEwen

Production Company: Hungry Man
Director: Wayne McClammy
Managing Partner, Executive Producer: Kevin Byrne
Executive Producer, Head of Sales: Dan Duffy
Executive Producers: Mino Jarjoura, Nancy Hacohen
Producer: Dave Bernstein
Production Supervisor: Shelly Silverman

Editing Company: Rock Paper Scissors
Editor: Christjan Jordan
Assistant Editor: Pieter Viljoen
Executive Producer: Angela Dorian
Producer: Helena Lee

Telecine: Moving Picture Company
Colorist: Ricky Gausis

Animation, Visual Effects: Moving Picture Company
Executive Producer: Elexis Stearn
Senior Producer: Juliet Tierney
Production Coordinator: Valentina Cokonis
Line Producer: Goutham Hampankatta
Flame Lead: Mark Holden
Nuke Artists: Janice Tso, Jim Spratling
Visual Effects Supervisor, Head of 3-D: Jason Schugardt
Lead Lighter: Tim Kafka
Render, Look Development: Jessica Groom
DMP: Partha Modal
3-D Supervisor: Nishanth Shrinivasa

Original Music and Sound Design: Q Department

Audio Post Company: Rainmaker Studios
Engineer, Mixer: Jeff McManus

@DaveGian David Gianatasio is a longtime contributor to Adweek, where he has been a writer and editor for two decades. Previously serving as Adweek's New England bureau chief and web editor, he remains based in Boston.