The GEICO Cavemen
are characters and are trademarks of GEICO in a series of well-received television advertisements
for the auto insurance
, that have aired from 2004
to present. The campaign was created by Joe Lawson of The Martin Agency
. In 2004, GEICO began an advertising campaign featuring Neanderthal
in a modern setting. The premise of the commercials is that GEICO advertises that using their website is "so easy, a caveman could do it"; and that this slogan offends several cavemen, who not only still exist in modern society but live as intelligent, urbane bachelors. Jeff Daniel Phillips
and Ben Weber played the two earliest cavemen and continuously reprise their roles. Actor John Lehr
appears most frequently as the caveman. A fourth caveman is played by Ben Wilson.
In an online interview with Esquire, Joe Lawson said that one aspect of the ads is a critique of modern political correctness.
- #1. As a fake, caveman-insensitive commercial is being filmed, the boom operator turns out to be a Neanderthal caveman who stops the filming and yells "not cool!"
- #2. Two cavemen in their apartment watch the ad from commercial #1 on TV, and take offense at its "condescending" tone, as it makes cavemen seem less intelligent.
- #3. A spokesman meets with two cavemen in a restaurant to apologize for the promotion, explaining that "we had no idea you guys were still around." One of the cavemen tells the waiter, "I'll have the roast duck with the mango salsa." The other caveman informs the waiter that "I don't have much of an appetite, thank you."
- #4. A caveman on a moving sidewalk at an airport spots a GEICO billboard featuring an overly silly representation of a caveman, along with the insulting phrase. The Röyksopp song "Remind Me" plays in the background.
- A follow up to the fourth commercial shows the same caveman talking on his cell phone, complaining about the offending billboard, saying "I'm looking right at it!".
- #5. A caveman in a psychotherapy session complains to his therapist, played by Talia Shire, about GEICO's attitude towards cavemen.
- #6. A caveman on a news-type talk show debates a human "expert" about whether or not cavemen "have failed to adapt." The expert insults the caveman.
- #7. All three cavemen are at a high-rise-apartment party. On the balcony, two of them discuss one caveman's decision to purchase GEICO's insurance because of its low price. The second caveman doesn't entirely fault him, but states that "a little loyalty would be nice" in their opposition to the company. During their discussion, the third caveman interrupts from inside, exclaiming excitedly "Tina's here; we're getting back together!" The first caveman quickly snaps at him, exclaiming, "Hey! Give us a minute!"
- #8. Continuing the talk show from ad #6, the "expert" just banters; the caveman is confused.
- #9 and #10. The psychotherapy session from ad #5 continues.
- #11. The cavemen watch the show Cavemen, and ridicule the series. This ad premiered during Super Bowl XLII; the show itself had already been canceled.
- #12 and #13. A caveman dances in various styles in a rather ridiculous manner, remarking how hard it is to dance in such a style, making such exclamations as "GEICO probably thinks this is easy, too!"
- #14. Focusing on GEICO's sports marketing efforts, a caveman faces Billie Jean King in a tennis match. The caveman, losing 0-6, 0-6, 0-5, and apparently oblivious to his surroundings, discovers the tournament is sponsored by GEICO. Feeling set up and humiliated by GEICO, he stands up and says "I get it! I quit, but I get it!" He then notices the chair he was just sitting in also bears a bold GEICO logo.
- #15. A caveman and his girlfriend are alone on a beach. As the lady begins to disrobe, a plane flies by with a GEICO banner. The distraught caveman states "I'll be in the car."
- #16. Two cavemen ride up to an outdoor bar on motorcycles. At the bar, they see two typically beautiful girls who are clearly impressed by the bikers. The bikers then see a billboard similar to the one in ad #4 (although, since this ad targets motorcycle insurance, the caveman is on a motorcycle). They suddenly lose interest in the women, heading back to their bikes; the women seem confused by the sudden change in the cavemen's demeanor.
- #17. A caveman is shown on a Jumbotron at a basketball game as the "GEICO Ultimate Fan." He rejects the congratulations of those sitting around him, although he just won court-side seats. As the commercial ends, the arena announcer plugs GEICO, using the "so easy" phrase.
Also, at the time of the launch of the Caveman's Crib website, a short advertisement featuring all cavemen at the "hip party" featured on the website was added after every Caveman commercial that was currently airing.
In 2007, GEICO created and launched an interactive Flash website starring the GEICO commercial cavemen entitled Caveman's Crib What started out as a single microsite inviting users to a hip penthouse party at the caveman's apartment has grown into an online GEICO Caveman entertainment portal, with multiple unique web entertainment experiences. The original site Host With the Most invites users into an immersive, interactive world where the cavemen are preparing for a party and you are the first arriving guest of a nonplussed host. Users may interact with the GEICO cavemen as well as their clothing, electronics, books, magazines and appliances. Party Out of Bounds invites users to the interactive aftermath of the raucous party. Embeddable video on three camera phones in the site tell the story of the party from three unique points of view and have been linked throughout myspace and youtube. Eyes Wide What?! invites users to a costume party with a decidedly pretentious Venetian Masque theme. This site opens rooms to the crib that give clues to the backstory of several of the cavemen as well as 8mm film footage from their childhood. iHeartcavemen builds on a Linked Magazine article from "Host with the Most" and delivers an online dating experience for "cavemen and the women who love them." This site allows users to interact with the cavemen, see online dating profiles of the cavemen and their women, and some of their dates. This site also offers users the opportunity to morph themselves into cavemen and see their cave baby offspring. The Caveman's Crib sites have won several industry awards, including the W3 "Best in Show" and the Platinum Hermes Award. GEICO's latest addition to their Caveman's Crib franchise is a download site Dancing Caveman
Television sitcom spin-off
On March 2, 2007, Variety
reported that a sitcom
based on the cavemen characters, simply titled Cavemen
, was being developed for ABC
. The magazine reported, "'Cavemen' will revolve around three pre-historic men who must battle prejudice as they attempt to live as normal thirtysomethings in modern Atlanta
." ABC announced this series for their fall schedule in May 2007. Originally it featured none of the Cavemen from the commercials, but Jeff Daniel Phillips later agreed to join the cast. It premiered on October 2, 2007. In the face of sagging ratings, it was quietly cancelled, automatically being the shortest lived ABC sitcom of the season. In February 2008, a new series of Caveman commercials featured two of the characters spoofing the premise of the show.
- The cavemen appeared in a short film shown in movie theaters singing, Rat Pack-style, the standard "Everything Happens to Me." It appears that this is part of the website http://cavemanscrib.com . This short film was nominated for The One Show advertising award competition.
- One of the cavemen appeared in the Super Bowl XLI pre-game show playing golf with Phil Simms, exchanging witty banter and deliberately sabotaging Simms's golf swings.
- A viral video of a supposed Caveman movie has made the rounds on the internet. It appears to be made up of unused clips from the GEICO ads and stock footage.
- One of the cavemen made several appearances on the sports cable network SportsNet New York in 2007, including promos for the show GEICO SportsNite, as well as a New York Mets baseball game.
- "Marty" the caveman made a stop at SXSW Interactive in Austin, TX on March 10th, 2008 for the iHeartCavemen.com launch party
- One of the cavemen appeared in a History Channel commercial, as a museum docent discussing a Cro-Magnon display. The museum-goers ridicule the caveman, but he eventually shames them into respecting him as a person. One female goer, however, is impressed by the caveman's knowledge and standing up for himself, garnering him a potential girlfriend.
- A Caveman was in an ESPN Fantasy Football commercial where he is playing golf and bragging about his past teams. He says that he will use the same strategy and not "reinvent the wheel". He then proceeds to muff the ball on his swing.
- The Caveman was spotted next to the Powder Tower on the streets of Prague filming a new commercial on October 2, 2008.