Top Halloween costumes for 2014

By on October 30, 2014 at 3:13 PM

Posted in: Odds & Ends

JackOGeckoIt’s going to be a Frozen Friday. The award-winning animated film leads the way as the most popular costume this Halloween, according to data compiled from forbes.com on Internet searches. Here are some of the characters you’ll see running around this Halloween weekend.

Elsa – The “Snow Queen” is the most searched-for costume this year.

Zombies – While this has always been a good choice, the popular television series The Walking Dead brings it back to life … so to speak.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – Even though the cartoon series has been around since the 1980s, a new movie this year brings this costume to a new generation.

Maleficent – If you like movie themes, why not dress up as one of Disney’s most iconic villains.

Pirate – This is an easy do-it-yourself costume that you can customize to suit your personality.

Or, since you’re reading the GEICO Blog, dress up as one of our popular characters — the Gecko, Maxwell the Pig, or the over-eager “hump day” camel. That last one’s especially effective if you’ll be in the company of anyone named Mike.

No matter how great your costume is, safety is still of utmost importance. Check out these resources for everything from trick-or-treating safety to pumpkin-carving tips.

Happy Halloween!

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Memory of the Month: In your face!

By on October 29, 2014 at 12:08 PM

Posted in: Odds & Ends

Each month, we share an image from GEICO’s past and invite you to exercise your caption-writing skills.

Pie in Face Here’s a motivational tactic that hasn’t really stood the test of time. During the early part of my career, though, this one was quite popular. Managers would challenge their teams to meet certain goals, and if the teams succeeded, they’d get to pop their managers in the face with pies – or at least pie tins loaded up with whipped cream.

This 1980s-vintage photo is probably an example of why we haven’t seen this particular tactic used much lately. Note the impressive spray of whatever’s in that pie tin, and also the evident gusto with which the woman is delivering the goods. I dare say the mess was not contained by the plastic sheet on the floor, and there’s a good chance this manager’s nose was quite sore afterward, if not bloodied or broken.

Either because of clean-up crew complaints, or possibly worker’s comp claims, we just don’t get this kind of entertainment any more. I guess some traditions just aren’t meant to last – and maybe that’s just as well. Can you think of other such bygone tactics? Let us know in the comments.

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The Gecko at New York Comic Con: Right where he belonged

By on October 27, 2014 at 10:50 AM

Posted in: Marketing & Communications

CosplayMob

For four days in New York City, fans of many pop culture genres came together and created a universe like no other at New York Comic Con (NYCC). What is Comic Con? It is a fan convention dedicated to comic books, graphic novels, anime, magna, video games, toys, artists, movies and television. But it’s much more; New York Comic Con is one of the largest pop culture events in the world, with an attendance of 151,000 earlier this month.

The GEICO Gecko was excited to attend (#GEICOCon) and was particularly intrigued by the “cosplay,” another term unique to this universe; it’s a contraction of the words “costume playing.” It’s dressing up, but way beyond what you normally see at a costume party.

3D picturesThe fans/attendees are what make the Comic Con experience extraordinary. It’s the ultimate Halloween town. Sure, you can see panels with your favorite stars and icons. And yes, you’ll find awesome exhibitors and great buys. But at their core, Comic Cons are primarily a celebration of what these fans care about, in an open and welcoming environment.

GEICO pulled out all the stops at Comic Con, rolling in the GEICO Bus that features pinball games and GEICO Karaoke (#GEICOonTour). And just for Comic Con, we had a special green screen 3D photo facility that gave fans the opportunity to have their own action movie moment! But we didn’t stop there! We hosted a daily cosplay competition that gave some of the fans a chance to get a little extra time in the spotlight. I assisted in finding candidates for this competition, and there was certainly no shortage! Thank goodness the winners were chosen by crowd acclaim, because judging the best of all the fabulous outfits would have been too difficult!

Super GeckoThe Gecko even participated in some cosplay himself, donning a SuperGecko cape. Superman might be able to save people in dire danger, but could he save you money on your insurance and help you get your damaged vehicle repaired after an accident? Can he help you with homeowners, renters or commercial insurance, not to mention all the other products GEICO sells? No, he can’t, but SuperGecko can!

Every day, 50 stuffed mini-SuperGeckos were hidden around the convention center. Each one included a little note asking their finders to take a selfie with him and bring him to the bus to get an extra special gift to go with the stuffed keepsake.

FrishLeapUnfortunately, the fun had to end. As you can see from my 3-D photo on this page, I rather enjoyed myself while representing GEICO at Comic Con, and if the opportunity should arise again, you can bet I’ll volunteer!

 

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GEICO takes Talladega by storm … and by air

By on October 22, 2014 at 3:57 PM

Posted in: Marketing & Communications

TalladegaSkyTypersTalk about getting up for an event! On a day when Brad Keselowski topped the field (including GEICO-sponsored Casey Mears, who finished 10th) on the ground, GEICO Skytypers Chris Orr (in the #2 airplane) and Tom Daly (in the #6 airplane) performed their routine high above the racetrack for the capacity crowd last Sunday, Oct. 19, during the GEICO 500 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series race at the Talladega Superspeedway in Talladega, Alabama.

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Right on track for the GEICO 500

By on October 14, 2014 at 3:42 PM

Posted in: Marketing & Communications

TalledegaIn just a few days, the quiet town of Talladega, Alabama, will roar to life with the sounds of engines and cheering fans; the GEICO 500 kicks off on Oct. 17 for three days of NASCAR thrills.

About two hours west of Atlanta and an hour east of Birmingham, this small city is home to one of the most famous racetracks in the country: the Talladega Superspeedway. Even if you’re not a racing fan, you may have heard of it thanks to a certain Will Ferrell comedy. The track is the steepest one on the NASCAR circuit, with 33-degree banked turns; it’s also the longest, at 2.66 miles. These factors add excitement and unpredictability to the race.

Drivers will be itching for glory at the starting line, including GEICO-sponsored driver Casey Mears in the No. 13 GEICO Chevrolet SS. Show him your support by wearing green and blue or any of your GEICO gear!

Part of the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, the GEICO 500 at the Talladega Superspeedway will feature 3,000 acres of campgrounds, including the only free sites in the series. Keep an eye out for our GEICO RV brand ambassadors handing out great prizes and searching for the most unique RV set up, which will win the Golden Gecko award! 

Support your favorite drivers (and the Gecko) October 17-19 at the GEICO 500! And keep an eye out for Ricky Bobby and Jean Girard!

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A day in the life of a GEICO national college recruiter

By on October 8, 2014 at 2:15 PM

Posted in: Working at GEICO

Meet Jason and Justine, two of GEICO’s four national college recruiters. These hard-working individuals travel to different college campuses across the country looking for great candidates to join the GEICO family. Our national college recruiters each will visit as many as 10 schools in their assigned territories during the fall semester. Here is a glimpse inside the life of GEICO recruiters:

 JustineDuring the heavy recruiting months, what does your day usually look like?

Justine: “I typically jump on a plane and head out to the college for career fairs, presentations, meetings with faculty and professors, or campus groups or organizations. After those events, I make sure that I follow up with the candidates that I met that day.”

Jason: “At many campuses, I’ll conduct an information session, connect with various student organizations, and be present at their career fairs. Since I spend so much time on campuses and traveling to different locations, follow-ups with students are done over the phone in airports and hotel rooms.“

What does your day typically look like during the “off” months?

Justine: “A typical day consists of conducting interviews, updating job posts on career sites, and connecting with candidates via social media channels.”

JasonJason: “I spend the summer months following up with candidates and conducting up to seven interviews a week. I also research and reach out to different universities and colleges to see if we should be attending career fairs or hosting events on that specific campus.”

What do you like most about recruiting?

Justine: “I like meeting the students; I see it as an opportunity to help the candidate in their career search by giving advice on resumes and cover letters, fine-tuning their interviewing skills and helping them find their way to GEICO.”

Jason: “I like meeting the students on campus and at career fairs. It’s exciting to see them go through the hiring process and get selected to join the GEICO family! This is rewarding because I know I played a role in helping secure a career for them.”

What is your favorite line from a GEICO commercial?

Justine: “I don’t have a favorite line but I love the “hump day “commercial. It cracks me up every time!”

Jason: “Hey you dang woodchucks, quit chucking my wood!”

Check our Careers page to find out where our recruiters will be during the fall semester and learn more about the career opportunities available at GEICO!

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The day I got my Gecko on

By on October 3, 2014 at 3:35 PM

Posted in: Marketing & Communications

By guest blogger Richard Blake, event marketing

NASDAQ Gecko

Not many are called, and even fewer are chosen, but this past Monday, Sept. 29, it was my turn. The GEICO Gecko was invited to the NASDAQ MarketSite in New York for the 11th annual Advertising Week – and I was invited to BE the Gecko!

I jumped at the chance to represent my company at this event as the Gecko – a past winner of Advertising Week’s Icon of the Year contest. The energy inside the NASDAQ tower was electrifying; I felt like I was getting ready to deliver a presidential address to the United States Congress. OK, the Gecko doesn’t speak at events like this, but still – I was excited.

I joined many other legendary ad icons – the Travelocity gnome, the Aflac duck, coffee man Juan Valdez and many more – on the closing bell stage. I got goose bumps as I watched Matt Scheckner, executive director of Advertising Week, deliver a fantastic speech about the origins of Advertising Week and why it draws attention from around the world. Inside the Gecko suit, I knew I was being televised by a national network, which made the experience even more compelling.

We had program rehearsals on the podium stage before going live, and I remember thinking, “I could get used to this.” However, after about 30 minutes in the suit and “Take 15,” I thought otherwise!

Scheckner – that’s me with him in the photo above – rang the NASDAQ closing bell with support from us icons. I wanted to get closer to the bell, but it was dark up there on the podium in the Gecko suit, and I was afraid I might fall off the stage on live TV, so I decided to hold my place.

The Gecko likes to be memorable, but not like that!

GeckoNASDAQ2

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Play ball! Get ready for baseball’s best

By on October 2, 2014 at 4:34 PM

Posted in: Marketing & Communications

?????????It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and not because the kids are back in school, although that’s nice, too. Rather, I refer to the wondrousness that is playoff baseball.

I’ve been an Orioles fan almost all my life, and we’re giddy to have our team back in the post-season. It has been WAY too long since 1983. But since 2005, I’ve become a Nationals fan first, just as I was a Senators fan first way back in the 1960s and early 1970s. So I’m doubly excited to have BOTH of the teams I support in the playoffs and, I hope, destined to meet each other in the World Series.

But between now and then, baseball fans everywhere – especially those who root for the Dodgers, Cardinals, Tigers, Angels or the other playoff teams – are in for a great roller-coaster ride, with peaks of exhilaration when our favorite teams are winning, and stark despair when things aren’t going so well. As a Nats fan, I’ve only experienced it once, two years ago, when Washington won the NL East, only to lose in excruciating fashion to the Cardinals in the first round. But that series also featured a walk-off homer in Game Four by the Nats’ Jayson Werth to extend the series to the final game. In all my years as a sports fan, that was one of the most exciting moments I’ve ever experienced.

There’s nothing comparable to the intensity of playoff baseball, which increases with every pitch, every at-bat, every inning, every game until the winner is determined. And for GEICO employees who are also baseball fans, like me, there’s an extra measure of pride in knowing that GEICO is a sponsor of Major League Baseball, and in seeing our logo displayed in the teams’ ballparks.

That’s not going to be much comfort if our teams don’t achieve the success we want for them, but it might ease the pain a little. Play ball!

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GEICO associates get muddy for Armed Services YMCA

By on September 30, 2014 at 11:11 AM

Posted in: Marketing & Communications

Mud Team

At the 14th annual Armed Services YMCA Mud Run in Norfolk, Virginia, last month, GEICO’s associates took to the mud like a pig takes to … well, mud.

GEICO served as title sponsor of the event, and 23 associates from the company’s Virginia Beach office entered the race, alongside 20 additional associates and their friends and family members who volunteered as race marshals and water station attendants. GEICO’s racers navigated the intense 5-mile course of sand, woods, water hazards, obstacles and mud pits to win both first and second place in the team competition— a first in the event’s history.

The race, held at Naval Amphibious Base Little Creek, is one of the largest military events in the Hampton Roads area. Proceeds benefited Armed Services YMCA of Hampton Roads, a military charity devoted to nurturing the well-being of the Hampton Roads military community and all five branches of service.

Winning the top spots reportedly guaranteed GEICO’s teams first dibs on the showers, which you can be sure their friends and family members greatly appreciated.

In The Mud

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Memory of the Month: They might be giants

By on September 26, 2014 at 9:09 AM

Posted in: Odds & Ends, Working at GEICO

Each month, we share an image from GEICO’s past and invite you to exercise your caption-writing skills.

Leo Lorimer old photoThis is the month in which we celebrate GEICO’s birthday, which we call Founders Day. For me, it’s a time to recall the early history of this company, and the people who built the company where I’ve been privileged to work for 30 years.

Which brings me to this photo, shot sometime in the late 1960s; it doesn’t depict any particularly momentous event, but it’s noteworthy just the same. This is one of a surprisingly few photos that include the two men mostly responsible for the beginning of GEICO’s success story.

That’s Leo Goodwin in the center, presenting a bowling trophy to a member of the GEICO bowling league. Goodwin founded GEICO in the mid-1930s and guided it through the lean start-up years, ably assisted by his wife, Lillian. Behind Goodwin is Lorimer Davidson, who became associated with GEICO in the mid-1940s as an investment banker who handled GEICO’s account.

Davidson and Goodwin became fast friends, and Davidson became GEICO’s financial vice president in 1948. This fortuitous pairing coincided with a lengthy stretch of profitable growth for the company until Goodwin decided that, at age 72, he was ready to retire from active management of the company and move into an advisory role.

In 1958, Davidson was named the new president of GEICO. He would oversee another 12 years of great prosperity for the company before he, too, chose to retire. None of the next four men who held the top job at GEICO after Davidson’s retirement would serve the company in that role for a longer stretch of time.

GEICO celebrates its 78th birthday this month. Our recent history, which includes us becoming the nation’s second-largest auto insurer, is pretty impressive. But I can’t help but wonder where we might be without the vision and leadership of Leo Goodwin and Lorimer Davidson, who steered us through our first 32 years.

What do you suppose this bowler would say?

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