The caveman that keeps on giving

Geico’s gotta be lovin’ the buzz it’s getting from its goofy Martin Agency ads, particularly the “Caveman Insult” spot. The 30-second spot, which won a silver at this year’s One Show, begins with a pitchman who says that navigating is “so easy, a caveman could do it.” Cut to the pitchman at dinner with a pair of well-dressed cavemen. “Seriously, we didn’t even know you guys were still around,” he says. “Next time, do a little research,” one of the hirsute diners suggests. The spot is a big hit in cyberspace. Referring to the cavemen as “Homo Insuranus,” one blogger questions whether the cavern dwellers are gay or simply “metrosexual minus haircare.” Even Johns Hopkins University’s JHU Gazette references the cavemen in a preview of a course called “Out of the Cave: Prehistory in Fact and Fiction.” The course syllabus maintains that “to date, one of the most sensitive, if sarcastic, mass media renderings of so-called cavemen appears in a current TV ad campaign for Geico car insurance, in which a duo of hairy, heavy-browed men are shown as sensitive sophisticates whose feelings are hurt by their knuckle-dragging public image. When writing about the Stone Age, modern authors use cavemen as metaphors for society’s deepest prejudices and fears—a situation that is particularly apparent in stories dealing with contact between our closest ancestors, the Neanderthals, and ourselves.” How’s that for research?