Hands Off The Mute! | Hackie | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice
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Hands Off The Mute! 

For a full-bodied TV addict like myself, those who mute the commercials don't know what they're missing. To me, skipping the commercials is like eating at a fine restaurant and passing on the condiments and the side dishes. OK, this is a weak analogy, but you get my point:  TV commercials are tasty!

My current favorite ad campaign is for Geico, the on-line insurance company. Here's the premise:  In order to demonstrate the ease of signing up for a policy, they've come up with this kicky tag-line - "So easy, a caveman can do it!" It turns out, however, that there's still a few caveman out and about, and, man, they are indignant. So the ads explore the cavemen's various encounters with callous and indifferent people who are basically telling them to just get over it. Here's the first one which sets up this storyline.

The  brilliant conceit of these vignettes is in the portrayal of the cavemen. They appear as typically neurotic 21st Century guys, albeit with a slightly lame 1970's fashion sense. Other than the thick burrowed foreheads, they're just like us.

One of these ads finds a caveman in the middle of a therapy session. (He's texting on his cell phone while he's exhanging with his therapist which is hilarious in itself.) The therapist is advising him to chill out. He counters with, "Well, what if the ad said, 'So easy, a therapist can do it!'"

The therapist retorts, "Well, that ad wouldn't make sense."

"Why?" the caveman says, dryly. "Because therapists are smart?"

The therapist responds with a weak half-smile covering up a grimace. (It's a precious take.) Just then, the caveman's phone rings. He glances down at the screen and says, "It's my mother. I'll put it on speaker."

I never get tired of this ad. I would watch it daily for the next year.

Another one of these ads currently in rotation shows two of the caveman in a conversation on a porch outside a house where a party is underway. Apparently, one of the cavemen has actually signed up with Geico for his own insurance. (The irony!) As his friend chides him, he says, "What? Do you think it makes me less of a caveman?"

At that moment, a third caveman comes out on the porch, nearly beside himself with delight. He interrupts the other two friends with, "Guess what? Tina's here. We're getting back together."

One of his caveman friends says, "Hey, can you give us a minute?"

The interrupting caveman's head falls in disappointment and he slinks away.

Postscript:  These Geico commercial have become so popular that the caveman are getting their own sitcom come September, thereby giving me something to live for.

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About The Author

Jernigan Pontiac

Jernigan Pontiac

Bio:
Jernigan Pontiac is a Burlington cab driver whose biweekly "Hackie" column has been appearing in Seven Days since 2000. He has published two book-length collections, Hackie: Cab Driving and Life, and Hackie 2: Perfect Autumn.

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