Geico’s Gecko Takes the GWB

NEW YORK One of the region’s best-known historic landmarks is going commercial this month when Geico’s iconic Gecko adorns the toll plazas of the George Washington Bridge.

Geico and Horizon Media struck a pact with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to allow advertising for the first time on the structure, which was built in the 1930s as part of a New Deal public works project. (The GWB had engaged Access Partners to scout out sponsorships .)

In addition to signage on the toll plazas, signs will be erected on canopies offering commuters a “Drive safely” message from Geico. Some 54 million cars travel over the GWB each year.

Geico will pay slightly more than $3 million for exclusive ad rights to the bridge for two years, per sources.

Geico CMO Ted Ward said, “With a landmark like the GWB, we tried to be careful not to cross the boundary of turning it into an overly commercial look and feel.”

Asked if the insurer will try to advertise on other well-known bridges or tunnels, Ward replied, “I’m sure more opportunities will be forthcoming.”