Tag: Cavemen

What’s so funny about insurance?

What’s so funny about insurance?

Advertising
It used to be that insurance commercials were created to convey one thing above all else — a feeling of total security and warm fuzziness that Company X was going to be there for you after your house blew up or your car got flattened by a rampaging elephant. Ad campaigns from agencies like Nationwide, State Farm, and Allstate were full of sensible people making sensible decisions. The slogans drove this theme home even more succinctly: Nationwide was on your side, you were in good hands with Allstate, and so on. But somewhere along the way things changed and insurance companies decided to start getting a bit cutesy with their ads. The Aflac Duck (voiced by the unlikely pitchman Gilbert Gottfried) debuted nationally in 1999, while local companies such as Chicago-based Eagle Insuranc
Commercials that don’t make me wretch

Commercials that don’t make me wretch

Advertising
There is certainly no shortage of awful commercials out there these days.  At best, most television ads are instantly forgettable; at worst, they me diving for my remote like it's the last slice of pizza.  But I want to focus on the positive today - commercials (or whole campaigns) that actually make me stop and watch, and in some cases are more entertaining than the shows they're interrupting. The King (Burger King) I've made no secret of my love for all things Kingly.  I know a lot of people are creeped out by the silent protagonist of Burger King's ad campaigns, who was resurrected in 2003 by the ad firm of Crispin Porter + Bogusky.  Well too bad, because I love him and apparently so do many others.  He's appeared in multiple campaigns, and was most recently converted to a breakfast-s
Unfrozen Caveman Sitcom

Unfrozen Caveman Sitcom

TV & Radio
More out of morbid curiosity than anything else, I tuned in tonight for the series premiere of Cavemen. I'm already on record as saying this show was a bad idea, but I gave it a shot anyway. And speaking totally objectively it's...well, it's not good. As I feared, they completely failed to capture the vibe of the original Geico commercials, which was as critical to their success as the basic premise. So what went wrong? Well for starters, the makeup was bad. In a puzzling move, the cavemen have perfect white teeth (the ones in the commercials have choppers more like Austin Powers). They looked less like ancestral man and more like twentysomethings with really bad grooming. Then there's the more puzzling change of the cavemens' jobs. Rather than the urban sophisticates the commerc...
You know how I know the new Cavemen series is going to suck?

You know how I know the new Cavemen series is going to suck?

TV & Radio
Because I get more laughs from a 30-second Geico caveman commercial than I did from this preview clip on ABC's website. Mistake number one was not getting the actors from the commercials to star in the series. They are actually a big reason why the ads work so well. Mistake number two was hiring a makeup designer from the local community college. With the possible exception of the one in the passenger seat, they look more like really tan guys with horrible grooming habits than prehistoric men. And although I can't tell from such a brief clip, I will bet money that another crucial aspect of the commercials - that the cavemen are actually rather urbane and sophisticated yuppie types - will be lost as well. Oh well, at least it can't be any lamer than According to Jim. I think.
Hey ABC?  Next time, maybe do a little research.

Hey ABC? Next time, maybe do a little research.

TV & Radio
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 wri...