Monday, June 23, 2008

Getting to Know the Gecko

To paraphrase the ever-charming Gecko in the Geico radio ads: "who doesn't like a friend that gives you things?" Kids visiting the San Diego Zoo recently got the message. A costumed Gecko was on hand handing out finger puppets and figurines as part of the leading insurance provider's partnership with The Association of Zoos and Aquariums.

The Geico Gecko Exhibit features the real Madagascar day geckos and the not-so real mascot. The tour and exhibit will continue nationwide for three years at AZA-accredited zoos and aquariums. At each stop, Geico will make a contribution to wildlife conservation. It will also be the lead sponsor for AZA's Earth Day "Party for the Planet" on April 22nd.

"We wanted to use the power of the Geico Gecko to support a worthy cause," says Rynthia Rost, vice president of public affairs for Geico, Washington, D.C. "Zoos and aquariums are important cultural and educational resources in the communities Geico serves. Now, our Gecko can help people save money on car insurance and help zoos and aquariums save wildlife."

The tour is expected to reach 157 million consumers. It's being supported by a series of animated commercials starring the mascot interacting with other zoo animals. One shows him attempting to speak to a jellyfish. He says, "I'll be honest here, it's very hard to talk with you, I mean where exactly is your face?" Another features the gecko talking to an otter. Unfortunately, for the mascot known for giving, the otter refuses to share his clams. No word on whether the Geico cavemen will begin popping up at natural history museums.

No comments: