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Legend of the Lizard

 

For GEICO's first-ever Super Bowl appearance (I know, crazy, right?) we wanted to celebrate 25 years of the GEICO Gecko as all icons should be celebrated: with a full-length film about his legend.

So David Shafei helped us cook up a 15-minute film about The Gecko's life story. What was briefed as a three-spot campaign grew into a months-long, multi-platform foray into long-form storytelling. 

 

Part I : The Caveman Returns 

So what the hell does "a multi-platform foray into long-form storytelling" actually mean?

Well, on December 23rd, NFL fans saw this: a 2-minute broadcast melodrama that aired just once, reintroduced The Caveman and had football fans wondering if they'd accidentally turned on Lifetime. 

It inspired 7,000 reactions on social media and in the press. Most positive, some confused. 

Part II : The Reveal 

On January 13th, we hit football fans with another melodramatic long-form that revealed our campaign: we were making a film about The Gecko. Caveman fans were excited. The Caveman, less so. 

In the following week, we teased our film like you might tease any film, complete with posters and IMDB and Letterboxd entries that fueled speculation that this might be the next branded film in the vein of Barbie or Air. 

Through it all, The Caveman was on TikTok and Instagram, ranting away and commenting sarcastically on all GEICO's posts. A few days before the game, we dropped the full film. 

We trimmed the long-form into four :30's that aired, one per hour, on Super Bowl Sunday, telling Gecko's story in 

four chapters: His Rise, His Drive, His Secret, and His Influence. 

Then, because we love a good rabbit hole, Super Bowl viewers saw a commercial for the Geck-O's Cereal 

that we'd featured in the fourth "Legend" spot. 

And then it all came together- The Caveman, the film, the cereal ad, even our Gecko shoes-

with this in-game segment on CBS Sports. 

Those were the main story beats, but anyone who cared to dig deeper could findover 40 pieces of content spread out over GEICO, The Gecko and Caveman's social accounts, including additional intervies, a shoe unboxing and a vintage GeckO's commercial. 

The team on this was legendary, guiding clients through a new media landscape, pushing the tone, 

and constantly figuring out ways to stretch a typical broadcast budget into a whole universe of content. 

Perhaps my favorite bit of all are these two character featurette online videos, which spend a little more time with Gecko's Auntie and Coach. 

CW: Graham Unterberger

AD: Dustin Dodd

Jr CW: Mckay Fritz

Jr AD: Isaiah Timmons

GCD: Neel Williams

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