The Gecko: A retrospective

By on April 26, 2010 at 9:03 AM

Posted in: Marketing & Communications

Part 2: ‘If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.’

The Gecko has come a long way since his first appearance in the spring of 1999.  After a few years of futile efforts to explain that he was not GEICO, in 2002 the Gecko decided “if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.” He auditioned to become the GEICO spokesperson and beat out a talking Chihuahua for the job. It didn’t take long for the Gecko to become “Employee of the Month” – an honor that came with a reserved parking spot for his little red sports car.

Since then, of course, the Gecko has come a long way. He got a “makeover” in 2005 and came out looking like a star, spreading the word about GEICO to other reptiles and interviewing on the talk-show circuit. His phenomenal success as GEICO’s primary ad icon led to his winning recognition as “America’s Favorite Ad Icon” that year. But despite his growing fame, the Gecko never forgot his roots, saying, “GEICO sounds like Gecko. That’s it. That’s the only reason I’m here.”

Currently, the Gecko is helping the Boss come up with the perfect catch-phrase for a GEICO advertising campaign and advising him on the latest ringtones. He’s now quite a high-level fixture at GEICO, but he retains the humility that endears him to all of us here at corporate headquarters.

I’ve shared with you some of my favorite Gecko memories. What are yours?