Thursday, September 21, 2006

Kicking my preconceptions in the nuts

"America, fuck yeah!" as the US foreign policy advertising slogan goes...

Well, funnily enough, advertising in the US is something that's floored me recently. Yet again, there's a surprise cunningly secreted up the sleeves of our colonial upstart cousins (if you're not getting the humour in these comments about the US, go read another blog, eh?).

GEICO Insurance (which doesn't, as far as I'm aware, have a market in the UK) has had a mascot in the form of a gecko for the last six years, which has been voiced by various different people in their animated TV advertising.

Recently, production house Rhythm & Hues Studios have brought him into the 3D world with a CGI creation voiced by Brit actor Jake Wood. This is a voicing that has a real "working class, dodgy car dealer, slightly shifty, but ever-so-Brit" feel to it. Very much not a blue-collar US citizen voice.

And bizarrely it's going down a storm in a country not known for its tolerance or comprehension of British regional accents (asking a Londoner if they're from Australia, for example...).

In fact, it's going down so well that it has won awards and plaudits from across the board. Advertising Week has thrown gongs at it, it's been voted one of the most recognisable icons in advertising in the US and its popularity hasn't seemed to dwindle with the years or the changing actors drafted in to give the little fella life. Here's a taste:

You can also check out the full range of GEICO's TV ads here.

Sometimes, just sometimes, people in advertising and marketing redeem themselves spectacularly. Hehehe...

Kudos to Good Dog for alerting me to this.


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