Who's more brainless, Geico or radio listeners?

CNN/Money reports that Geico is filing suit over a :60 radio ad for Tri-State Consumer Insurance Co. of Jericho, N.Y. Why? Because Geico claims that the ad "misappropriates Geico's gecko trademark, confusing consumers into thinking that Geico's gecko is associated with Tri-State."

Ok. But, when you read what the ad is about, you have to stop and wonder, exactly how stupid does Geico think people are.

In a 15-page complaint, Geico lawyer James Swire of Arnold & Porter LLP described a Tri-State commercial with a character identified as a gecko inviting New Yorkers to talk about car insurance.

As the gecko prepares to suggest that listeners switch their insurance to Geico, a crashing sound followed by an "unsavory 'splat' sound" suggest that the gecko was struck down by a skidding car, the filing said.

Thereafter, it said, "a gruff voice boldly proclaims, 'Enough with the gecko already! You want cuddly cartoon characters or better rates?"'

The complaint said the commercial then recommends that vehicle owners save money by insuring with Tri-State. After the gecko proclaims "I'm cute," a car apparently driven by the announcer squishes it, it said.

Swire said Tri-State's use of the gecko dilutes the character's value to Geico, which has "invested hundreds of millions of dollars through radio and television advertising featuring the Gecko Trademark and its distinctive voice."

Now I could understand that Geico isn't happy about their mascot being squished (possibly to death) in another company's advertising. But to say that they are making people think that the gecko is associated with Tri-State is just inane.

about the author

caffeinegoddess I'm a creative director and copywriter with digital, integrated, and traditional expertise. I love sound strategy and great executions.

Comments (1)

  • caffeinegoddess's picture

    Reuters reports that Geico has dropeed the suit after Tri-State agreed to stop running ads that made fun of the gecko.

    May 03, 2006