Gecko v. Flo: Worst Media Smackdown Ever?

The folks at left-wingnut website AlterNet are all lathered up about the ongoing slapfight between the Geico gecko and Progressive Insurance spokesgal Flo, who’s annoying enough to be the 21st century Mr. Wipple

Curent AlterNet headline:

Cutesy GEICO Gecko’s Ad Fight Is a Deeply Disturbing Symbol of Our Economic Decline

(Hate those disturbing symbols.)


If you’ve turned on the tube these last few weeks, you’ve probably been a collateral casualty of the biggest televisual war of attrition in recent memory. No, I’m not talking about the scripted skirmishes between cable channels, nor am I referring to the Battle of Zombie Talking Points that ate most of our brains during the election. I’m talking about the now never-ending throwdown between two of the most in-your-face salespeople our mediascape has ever manufactured: Geico’s unnamed gecko and Progressive Insurance’s chipper saleswoman, Flo.

It’s not just that the lizard and the pitchgal are ubiquitous. It’s that they’re iniquitous, since auto insurance is a) government-mandated; b) government-subsidized; and c) government-unregulated.

Rather than building real wealth for society, unregulated competition between the geckos and the Flos in the insurance and finance sector has often meant fine-print terms like “recission,” esoteric maneuvers like “securitization” and acronym-cloaked schemes like CDOs — that is, ever-more complex “innovations” to reduce customer payouts, increase fees, maximize private profit and limit executive liability, all under the TV-commercial guise of allegedly lower prices and better consumer returns.

So the gecko is picking your pocket. That’s even more impressive than the cellphone and wallet he keeps in his pocket.

AlterNet, eat your heart out.

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2 Responses to Gecko v. Flo: Worst Media Smackdown Ever?

  1. Bob Gardner says:

    Is there–even theoretically–a set of commercials that would make Sirota (or anyone) feel good about things in general? What’s the alternative? More beer commercials? More lists of contra-indications? More green commericals from Mobil?
    If he doesn’t want to be disturbed, he’s in the wrong place, looking in the wrong direction. He should hang a bird-feeder outside his window and look at that, at the very least.

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