Geico is bringing back its iconic Caveman in a new commercial titled “The Nightmare,” per details shared with Marketing Dive. The dramatic two-minute spot sees one of the Neanderthal-like characters wake up from a nightmare, haunted by Geico’s “so easy, a caveman can do it” tagline first introduced nearly two decades ago.
The ad will debut in a linear pod takeover on NBC Sunday Night Football on Dec. 24 and through a placement on YouTube Live. Along with supplementary social content, the brand has shared a playlist of classic spots featuring the original cavemen.
Developed with The Martin Agency, “The Nightmare” resurrects a creative concept that immediately made a splash upon its 2004 debut. The agency also incubated the initial version of the campaign, which subverts preconceived notions of how intelligent cavemen would be, making the mascots surprisingly erudite. The nostalgia-laced effort kicking off with “The Nightmare” is part of a two-month rollout that will culminate with a final campaign piece running around the Super Bowl.
“Back in 2004, Geico’s Caveman spots broke new ground in comedic advertising by telling the story of the anti-spokesperson. The tone was dry, edgy, and sometimes biting. That’s part of why it stuck in people’s memories,” said Neel Williams, group creative director at The Martin Agency, in a statement.
“When you re-introduce an ad icon like the Caveman, you can’t take it lightly," Williams continued. “That’s why we combined the right entertainment-driven idea with Geico’s messaging around ease, and captured the right attention-grabbing, long-form media opportunity. With all those things working in harmony, we were able to bring back Caveman at his best: dramatic, poignant, subversive, intimate, and relatably human.”
Geico’s original cavemen ads were so popular that the characters eventually starred in a short-lived sitcom on ABC. After the critically panned show was canceled, Geico ran an ad during Super Bowl XLII in 2008 that featured cavemen satirizing the program and tagline.