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Are Geico's cavemen ready for prime time?
Money Central/WSJ ^ | March 5, 2007

Posted on 04/17/2007 11:54:44 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet

Is finding a way for marketers to beat commercial-zapping DVRs and helping networks to cure the distressed state of TV comedy so simple that a caveman could do it?

ABC's decision last week to greenlight a half-hour pilot program based on Geico's popular cavemen characters highlights the blurring line between advertising and entertainment, as well as the trouble the network has had in launching successful sitcoms.

Although the project is at a nascent stage -- there's no script and no cast -- plans call for the comedy to be titled "Cavemen" and focus on a trio of prehistoric characters who battle prejudice in modern-day Atlanta. Walt Disney's (DIS, news, msgs) ABC will pay for the pilot and show, if one eventually materializes. Geico, a unit of Berkshire Hathaway (BRK.A, news, msgs), will have no creative control but will receive a royalty payment for the use of the characters.

"We sell car insurance; we don't make TV shows," says Ted Ward, Geico's vice president of marketing. "We are excited to have an opportunity to do brand extension."

(Excerpt) Read more at articles.moneycentral.msn.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Extended News
KEYWORDS: abc; cavemen; geico; sitcom
I love those commercials, because they reflect our "victim" society and everyone taking offense at the slightest thing, plus metrosexual cavemen are a hoot!!
1 posted on 04/17/2007 11:54:47 PM PDT by 2ndDivisionVet
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Phil Hartman did it best:

"Your world frightens and confuses me! Sometimes the honking horns of your traffic make me want to get out of my BMW.. and run off into the hills, or wherever.. Sometimes when I get a message on my fax machine, I wonder: "Did little demons get inside and type it?" I don't know! My primitive mind can't grasp these concepts. But there is one thing I do know - when a man like my client slips and falls on a sidewalk in front of a public library, then he is entitled to no less than two million in compensatory damages, and two million in punitive damages. Thank you."


2 posted on 04/18/2007 12:04:10 AM PDT by angkor
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To: angkor

God rest his soul.


3 posted on 04/18/2007 12:12:21 AM PDT by Zeon Cowboy ("Show me just what Muhammad brought... and there you will find things only evil and inhuman.")
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To: angkor

Culture shock. Worked well for Beverly Hill Billies, 3 Rock and Mork & Mindy.


4 posted on 04/18/2007 12:14:08 AM PDT by oyez ( The right to owning firearms insures than no one owns you.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Those whiny, liberal cavemen may be a good parody of modern liberals, but I can’r stand them.


5 posted on 04/18/2007 12:18:11 AM PDT by ozzymandus
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Gotta use the existing actors. GEICO is annoying, but the cavemen, what with social hangups et al, works. Not sure the idiom can survive a TV season, but what the heck? Couldn’t be worse than most of the pap swill out now.


6 posted on 04/18/2007 12:20:46 AM PDT by IslandJeff (There will be Democrats in heaven, except they'll be too busy organizing the staff)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

I just called my mother on this..Exploiting Cavemen isn’t right. What if people started saying that the Internet is so easy to use that IslandJeff could do it? How does that make you feel? Excuse me while I “IslandJeff” the internet....


7 posted on 04/18/2007 12:40:36 AM PDT by Dallas59 (AL GORE STALKED ME ON 2/25/2007!)
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To: Dallas59

Don Imus would have done well to restricting is criticisms to the caveman demographic.


8 posted on 04/18/2007 1:03:28 AM PDT by The Duke (I have met the enemy, and he is named 'Apathy'!)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Haven’t watched a half hour sitcom in so long, I can’t remember the last one I watched. So honestly, it don’t matter to me what they do - I won’t watch it anyway.

That being said, stupid idea. Looks cute on paper, but can you imagine trying to come up with season 3’s plot lines? It’s so limited in concept, the worst case scenario would be if it was incredibly successful. It could be a runaway hit, blowing everyone out of the time slot, and die such a horrible death.

Pull the plug now, toss the club into the closet and leave it to Geico commercials.

9 posted on 04/18/2007 1:28:28 AM PDT by kingu (No, I don't use sarcasm tags - it confuses people.)
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To: The Duke
Don Imus would have done well to restricting is criticisms to the caveman demographic.

That would have been unwise. The caveman demographic was his core audience.

10 posted on 04/18/2007 1:32:33 AM PDT by ReignOfError (`)
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To: kingu

“Cavemen, Episode 303: ‘One Day At A Time’: In this very special episode (3 of 3), the Cavemen join forces to defeat the greatest menace of all: alcoholism. Special guests: Elizabeth Taylor, Nick Nolte”


11 posted on 04/18/2007 2:12:07 AM PDT by B-Chan (Catholic. Monarchist. Texan. Any questions?)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

It was funny at first, but now it’s just stupid. It’s like the energizer bunny, the commercials were unexpected and funny at first and now, I refuse to buy energizer batteries because I’m so sick of that damn bunny.


12 posted on 04/18/2007 2:39:16 AM PDT by Elyse (I refuse to feed the crocodile.)
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To: IslandJeff
Not sure the idiom can survive a TV season, but what the heck?

My sentiments as well..
I could be wrong, but I don't think it would last through it's first season, probably get canceled by the 4th episode..

Not like I'm a critic, or anything..
Might be a major hit if the writing's good.

13 posted on 04/18/2007 2:39:36 AM PDT by Drammach ("If you make yourselves sheep, the wolves will eat you." -- Benjamin Franklin)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
Folks, this ain't gonna be A Caveman in Judge Judy's Court and Other Modern Places. Rather, it is directed at the latter day cavemen known as, well, us:
Although the project is at a nascent stage -- there's no script and no cast -- plans call for the comedy to be titled "Cavemen" and focus on a trio of prehistoric characters who battle prejudice in modern-day Atlanta.
A weekly re-enactment of the piranha attack on Imus? No thanks.
14 posted on 04/18/2007 3:33:55 AM PDT by Dahoser (Never question Mr. Nibbles!)
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To: The Duke
Don Imus would have done well to restricting is criticisms to the caveman demographic

Nappy headed Cro(magnon)?

CC

15 posted on 04/18/2007 4:34:07 AM PDT by Celtic Conservative ("Minutum Cantorum, Minutum Baloram, Minutum Carboratum Descendam Pantorum")
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

I want to see what Tina looks like before I make a decision on any potential TV series.


16 posted on 04/18/2007 4:37:07 AM PDT by Hatteras (I'm a sweetheart, genius, a reckless jerk. Lord have mercy, I'm a piece of work...)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

The Cavemen are about to jump the shark.


17 posted on 04/18/2007 4:39:58 AM PDT by LIConFem (Thompson 2008. Lifetime ACU Rating: 86 -- Hunter 2008 (VP) Lifetime ACU Rating: 92)
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To: angkor

Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer is one of the best. The Geico cavemen are great fun but it might be too limited a joke to carry a series.


18 posted on 04/18/2007 4:46:21 AM PDT by jimfree (Freep and ye shall find.)
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To: LIConFem
I have to agree with you. What makes the commercials funny is what's left unsaid.

For example, in the scene where the caveman is talking with the therapist, his cell phone rings and he says "It's my mother. I'll put her on the speaker.."

We don't see the mother, and in fact are surprised that there IS a mother. Our imaginations conjur up her appearance, her attitude (possibly similar to George Costanza's mother) and her voice.

In a series we wouldn't be using our imagination, and whoever would play that character would be inferior to what we have conjured up in our minds.

The whole success of those stories lies in their appearing only in short vignettes. I don't think a series would work.

I also would like to point out that the "prejudice" currently in the commercials comes from people who are typically thought of as broad-minded, like the therapist. Moving them to Atlanta is simply going to result in a lot of cheap southerner jokes and won't work as well, IMHO.

19 posted on 04/18/2007 4:48:04 AM PDT by Miss Marple (Prayers for Jemian's son,: Lord, please keep him safe and bring him home .)
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To: Miss Marple

Cavemen wouldn’t live in Atlanta, anyway. It’s too new money. They’d be in Manhattan or SF.


20 posted on 04/18/2007 4:54:19 AM PDT by Fairview ( Everybody is somebody else's weirdo.)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
This has been done already:

"It's About Time" was a really horrible sitcom that ran 1966-1967. Two astronauts travel back in time. Meet cavemen. Cavemen travel back with astronauts to 20th century. Hilarious hijinks ensue.

21 posted on 04/18/2007 4:55:21 AM PDT by kidd
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To: ozzymandus
Right ... and I'm sure that's exactly how the major media will portray them too. They will be the last liberals in Atlanta struggling with discrimination.< /sarc>

I can already see the NRA and "W" bumper stickers on their foot powered car.

22 posted on 04/18/2007 4:58:21 AM PDT by tcostell (MOLON LABE)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
This is pretty funny.
23 posted on 04/18/2007 5:02:13 AM PDT by Tribune7 (A bleeding heart does nothing but ruin the carpet)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet
I like the Geico commercials - the gecko is priceless, and the cave men are, too.

Carolyn

24 posted on 04/18/2007 5:05:04 AM PDT by CDHart ("It's too late to work within the system and too early to shoot the b@#$%^&s."--Claire Wolfe)
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To: jimfree

“The Geico cavemen are great fun but it might be too limited a joke to carry a series.”

Especially since they’re evolving into whiners whose only apparent purpose is to balk at the prejudice against cavemen.

Sounds pretty dismal as a TV series.


25 posted on 04/18/2007 5:06:47 AM PDT by angkor
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To: IslandJeff

At first I thought, “it will fall flat.”
Then I think about all these reality shows like “Fear Factor” and realize most Americans have NO TASTE. It is anybody’s guess if it will be a success or not.


26 posted on 04/18/2007 5:07:15 AM PDT by Muzzle_em (A proud warrior of the Pajamahadeen)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

Everytime I see those commercials, I think, what would the reaction be, if rather than “so simple a caveman could do it,” the line was “so simple a (any ethnic group) could do it.” That’d be the last you’d ever see that commercial.


27 posted on 04/18/2007 5:09:04 AM PDT by YourAdHere (Lose Weight Now. Ask Me How!)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

I guess they’ll call it:
‘The Cindy Sheehan! Cindy Sheehan! Show’


28 posted on 04/18/2007 5:09:41 AM PDT by NickatNite2003 (From the Man from Hope" to the wife who snarls "Abandon All Hope!")
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

It will be a PC barf fest about the oprafication of manhood.


29 posted on 04/18/2007 5:11:56 AM PDT by longtermmemmory (VOTE! http://www.senate.gov and http://www.house.gov)
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To: kidd
Yeah, like the movie "Snakes on a Plane", it writes itself.

Or not.

30 posted on 04/18/2007 5:15:02 AM PDT by Mr. Quarterpanel (I am not an actor, but I play one on TV)
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To: 2ndDivisionVet

A half hour GEICO commercial with commercial breaks for what? More GEICO commercials?

Yuck.


31 posted on 04/18/2007 5:17:38 AM PDT by Fresh Wind (Vaclav Klaus: "A whip of political correctness strangles their voice")
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To: Drammach
if the writing's good.

That is the fundamental thing, IMO.

Of course, I am a writer & have some scripts done, in various stages of completion. :)

32 posted on 04/18/2007 5:19:26 AM PDT by proud American in Canada ("We can, and we will prevail.")
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To: YourAdHere

how about so simple a woman can do it...

THAT would be one to grab some popcorn and watch the show.


33 posted on 04/18/2007 5:20:29 AM PDT by longtermmemmory (VOTE! http://www.senate.gov and http://www.house.gov)
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To: Elyse; NeoCaveman
It was funny at first, but now it’s just stupid.

Sounds like somebody got up on the wrong side of the rock.

34 posted on 04/18/2007 6:34:53 AM PDT by VRWCmember (Go Rudy Go! (And take McCain with you!))
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To: CDHart

Like my first wife...so easy a caveman could do her!


35 posted on 04/18/2007 6:53:50 AM PDT by Eagle Eye (Pelosi Democrats agree with Al Queda more often than they agree with President Bush.)
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To: Dallas59

I’ll put it on speaker...


36 posted on 04/18/2007 11:25:09 AM PDT by IslandJeff (There will be Democrats in heaven, except they'll be too busy organizing the staff)
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To: kidd
I remember that show! I even remember the theme. One of the cavemen is Mike Mazurki, and the other one looks like John Dehner, but it’s hard to picture a guy who usually played Confederate generals as a caveman.
37 posted on 04/18/2007 11:54:20 AM PDT by ozzymandus
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To: kidd

It’s about time, it’s about space, it’s about time I slap your face!


38 posted on 04/18/2007 12:13:13 PM PDT by jordan8
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To: IslandJeff

Thank you.


39 posted on 04/18/2007 5:27:48 PM PDT by Dallas59 (AL GORE STALKED ME ON 2/25/2007!)
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To: ozzymandus
Really? I love 'em!

"Tina's here...we're getting back together!"

40 posted on 04/19/2007 7:00:13 PM PDT by truthkeeper (It's the borders, stupid.)
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