Geico’s ‘Translators’ in Encore Performance

NEW YORK Fresh off the success of its popular “Caveman” and “Gecko” promotions, insurance giant Geico is bringing back another iteration of its brand marketing: celebrity translators.

The insurer said it would feature three new celebrities “translating” insurance stories from actual Geico customers. The campaign from IPG’s The Martin Agency, Richmond, Va., will star Grammy award-winning rocker Peter Frampton; James Lipton, host of the Bravo TV series Inside the Actor’s Studio; and Michael Winslow, the famed “motor mouth” from the Police Academy movies.

“With all the interest surrounding the cavemen and our beloved gecko last year, no campaign was spoofed more than our testimonial campaign featuring folks like Little Richard and Peter Graves,” said Ted Ward, vp, marketing at Geico, in a statement.

Breaking this week, the campaign follows the same theme of last year’s effort: real customers tell their stories and the celebrities transform those tales into more “exciting” fare.

“One of the fun things about the work is trying to predict what will emerge as the most popular catch phrases,” said Steve Bassett, a cd at Martin who works on the campaign. “Last year one of them was [Little Richard’s], ‘Mashed potatoes, gravy and cranberry sauce! Woooooo!’ That’s a tough one to beat.”

Geico said the spots would run on all the major networks and national cable programs.

The insurer spent $430 million on TV ads in 2006, and $280 million from January through August of this year, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus.