Cavemen standing by…

March 20, 2007

The GEICO caveman — the sensitive, oppressed Neanderthal featured in a series of commercials for the insurance company — is so hot that ABC is has looked into developing a half-hour comedy around him.

But not everyone is smitten with the hirsute pitchman.

One caveman-hater is Joseph Tripodi, the chief marketing officer of rival insurance company Allstate. He told the ANA’s TV Forum that his industry is caught in a marketing “arms race” that comes at the expense of “content, context and relevance.”

“If you’ve had a serious house fire or been in a car accident … angst-ridden cavemen standing on balconies in Manhattan probably aren’t answering the phone,” Tripodi said during a speech at the ANA’s TV Forum.

At Allstate, advertisements feature Dennis Haysbert, who played fictitious President David Palmer on Fox’s 24.

“He’s an authoritative figure but someone who is not intimidating,” Tripodi said. “I like the credibility he brings. He brings more than a caveman, Fabio, Kevin Federline.”

But what about the credibility of that lovable Aflac duck?

“I’d like to see that duck served on a platter at lunch.”  

(Photos: /

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