Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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Laura Walker graduated college with a BS in Criminal Justice with a minor in Political Science. She married her husband and began working in the family insurance business in 2005. She became a licensed agent and wrote P&C business focusing on personal lines insurance. Laura serviced existing business and wrote new business. She now uses her insurance background to help educate drivers about...

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Reviewed by Laura Walker
Licensed Agent for 10 Years

UPDATED: May 20, 2019

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The Geico Gecko is one of the company’s most popular advertising mascots. The animal is a computer-animated representation of a gold-dust day gecko, an animal common in the islands of the southwest Indian ocean.

The real geckos are reptiles similar to lizards, inhabiting trees and other vegetation.

The creature is anthropomorphic, meaning it has human qualities, such as upright walking and speech.

Although his appearance has changed somewhat as the commercial series progressed, he is represented as a small, green, lizard-like creature with a red triangle on his head and digits similar to most climbing reptiles.

He is usually shown as standing upright, although in earlier commercials he crawled like a lizard. He also occasionally wears clothing, such as a shower cap and towel, although in most commercials he is not attired.

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Is the Geico Gecko real?

Sadly you wont find the real Geico Gecko walking around anytime soon.

The character is completely computer-generated, using new animation techniques to make him appear “real.” This is the same technology used in several recent movies, notably Star Wars.

The commercials are filmed with the gecko character being added in by digital technology after the human characters have finished their acting.

Who created the Geico Gecko?

The gecko character was the brainchild of the Martin Advertising Agency, the creators of the Geico caveman. In 1999, the Martin Agency representatives met with Geico to talk about a new advertising strategy.

The company was worried about the mispronunciation of its name by many potential customers.

The original commercials placed emphasis on the similarity of the words “gecko” and “Geico,” with the creature pleading with audiences not to confuse the two. The original character, however, was far more lizard-like; later representations made him much more human.

Who plays the voice of the Geico Gecko?

The original voice for the character was performed by comedian Kelsey Grammer of “Cheers” and “Frazier” fame and later played by Dave Kelly and Jake Wood. As the series of commercials progressed, the gecko began to evolve into a more developed character.

The series of “wrong number” ads, which featured the gecko using the telephone, were voiced by Dave Kelley, a British radio announcer.

Building on the success of the gecko’s development, a further series of advertisements was created, in which the gecko is a true representative of Geico insurance.

The voice for these commercials is performed by Jake Wood, an English actor who starred in “EastEnders.” This incarnation of the character featured a Cockney accent, which was an “unexpected” development, according to creative director Steve Bassett of the Martin Agency.

Recent commercials have toned down the accent a bit, making the character more “human,” according to Bassett. The advent of better computer technology also allowed the gecko to perform with a more human-like quality.

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Why a Gecko?

Every advertising campaign needs an edge.

The purpose of the gecko in the ads is always to save money on car insurance but it’s the brilliant effect of connecting consumers with something cute and memorable which have solidified the success of the Geico gecko campaign. The little character is always cheerful and trying to help people cut their rates.

The commercials focus on tips to save money, and the gecko explains the benefits of switching to Geico, such as being able to use the website for various services unavailable from other companies.

How funny is the Gecko?

Considering that out of all car insurance commercials many of Geico’s gecko rank in the top 20 worldwide we would have to say pretty successful.

In many of the ads, the gecko is placed in humorous situations based upon his size. In one commercial, the “president” of the company calls the gecko in and wants to do a “trust” exercise in which he falls backward onto him. The commercial cuts out just before the gecko is crushed.

In another, the two are lunching together, and the gecko magically produces a human-sized wallet from which he produces a credit card to pay for the meal. Another commercial features him driving a tiny convertible and parking it in a regular-sized space.

Many pictures show him standing on a human hand for contrast. The gecko is approximately eight to ten inches tall in most pictures and commercials. The laughs go on.

Response to the gecko commercials was overwhelmingly positive. Many people did not even know what a gecko was until the commercials aired, as these animals are considered “exotic” in the United States.

One side effect of the commercials has been to engage younger audiences by playing on children’s natural affection for cartoon characters.

Gecko dolls and memorabilia are sold at various retailers, including plastic and stuffed replicas of the reptile.

Geico often runs simultaneous advertising campaigns, and the gecko commercials often appear at the same time as the “caveman” series, the “Kash” series, and the “15 minutes” series.

Each type of commercial focuses on a different aspect of the company’s policies, giving Geico enormous market coverage.

The gecko has been one of the most user-friendly characters of any of the advertising campaigns, and many people have come to associate the company with this friendly reptile. His picture is featured prominently on the Geico website.

The gecko was also inducted into Madison Avenue’s “Walk of Fame” as one of the most important commercial characters of all time.

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