Geico Viral Visits Caveman’s Crib

NEW YORK Geico is extending its Caveman franchise built with TV spots in a viral campaign that uses interactive video.

At www.cavemans-, launched a week ago, visitors are greeted by the well-known, urbane Caveman, clad in a robe, who hurries off to a shower. He invites the visitor to peruse magazines on the coffee table. The Flash site gives control to the user, allowing them to do everything from read what’s on the Caveman’s computer, change songs on his iPod, wander into other rooms, turn the pages on his books and magazines, even rearrange word jumble magnets on his refrigerator. The Caveman reappears periodically.

The site was developed in-house by a team assembled by the company’s communications and marketing department.

The Martin Agency in Richmond, Va., has helped Geico develop a following for the Caveman since his introduction in 2005. One of the Geico TV spots featuring the Caveman in his therapist’s office has gotten over 400,000 views on YouTube. The viral site is designed to keep the storyline of the commercials going between batches.

“The ads give a hint of a parallel reality that you can’t really develop in a 30-second spot,” said Phil Ovuka, director of creative media services at Geico. “The site gives us an opportunity to fill in the blanks.”

The branded entertainment site only mentions Geico obliquely, such as via doodles in a book on his shelf. Instead, it leans on the association the character has forged with the insurance company since his introduction in 2005.

“We’re not trying to make an overt attempt to send people to our site to buy car insurance,” Ovuka said. “It was more of a way to fill in the blanks people may have about the Caveman.”