Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Geico Gecko Has Not Quit Day Job

I'm a little terrified. Apparently, there's a whole app for making a spokescharacter's even more fictitious ventriloquist dummy say whatever you want.

I'm proud of Geico for that. All the car insurance advertising divisions, really. They all do a pretty bang-up job. Truthfully, only 21st Century has commercials that I don't look forward to watching when I hear their telltale opening moments, and I still don't look unfavorably upon those.

Yet Geico seems to have a special habit of straddling the precipice of the Uncanny Valley, sometimes enraging me but most often enthralling me and gaining my empathy. I just love that little gecko. I always have, ever since he used to be an average, albeit classy British lizard who all too frequently received phone calls intended for the auto insurance company. I almost left when he was briefly recast with the voice of Invader Zim, but I stuck by my little guy.

Except now I'm getting a little disconcerted again. He's got a ventriloquist's dummy. And some chops.

If you watch the above video, his lips really are moving. Just a bit. But it's there. Somewhere, an animator spent a lot of time studying ventriloquism, just enough to make this look believable. It's a whole lot of work for not a lot of payout, but it's a mark of honor I bet holds a lot of pride for someone.

On the other hand, I just spent quite a while talking about it, didn't I? Point advertisers.

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