The key to a really fresh and fun concept staying that way is to avoid overexposure. But entertainment executives rarely subscribe to the “less is more” theory, and as a result we get ill-fated concepts like the recently announced ABC series “Cavemen.” The show, as you probably already guessed, is based on the totally awesome series of Geico commercials centering around a group of prehistoric sophisticates suffering bigotry in the modern world, mostly at the hands of the aforementioned insurance company.
The ads work not only because they’re extremely clever, but because they’re extremely short. You get a setup and a punchline in under a minute. I just don’t see them working when stretched out to a half-hour format. The impact is lessened, and never mind the likelihood that the writing will be dumbed down for a mass audience. The multiple layers of uniqueness and subtlety that make the commercials so great will be hammered out by network executives and drowned in a crappy laugh track. Think “According to Jim” with a larger makeup budget.