That GEICO “Rowing Guinea Pigs” Commercial

Long version:

Short version:

This commercial has been around for a while, since October. It’s part of GEICO‘s “Easier Way to Save” campaign, created by The Martin Agency of Richmond, VA.  It was Martin that created the GEICO Gecko and many other commercials for the company. According to Advertising Age, this ad agency is ranked No. 4 in the country.

There’s a short version and a long version, both shown above  of “Guinea Pigs.”  The long version shows how brother taught the guinea pigs to speak and to row. Once in a while, I got to see the short version and laugh. However, it appears that more networks and stations have been replaying it, not only because of its popularity, but most probably because the subjects are cutesy, cuddly-looking furry little animals, and of course, it’s the holiday season. If these guys were really smart, they’d be marketing the Gecko and the piglets as stuffed animals.  The commercial as hilarious as hell and got a write-up in AdWeek for sheer genius:

Guinea Pigs” has all the ingredients of a winning comedy spot: the absurd premise; the cute animals (alas, CGI and not actual trained rodents); the weary but committed consumer; the weird details of the “chubby” guinea pig who has had trouble learning the word “row.” Figuring they would be a hit (hey, the spot even got a fawning review in Guinea Pig Today), [The] Martin [Agency] whipped up some additional materials, too—an extended version of the spot on YouTube, giving additional back story, and an iPhone game, available at, called the Guinea Pig Getaway App, in which they try to escape from their crazy owner. (“Help them navigate the murky waters filled with obstacles that threaten their speedy escape—alligators, bones, tires, and more. Yuck!”)

What always tickles me is the brother saying that it took him eight months to teach the fat guinea pig to say the word, “row,” while the critter is repeatedly saying, “Row,” to its friends in the tiny boat. Did he really have to teach the fat one how to say “row”? I mean, brother could have gotten them all to row like Charlton Heston did in the bowels of a Roman galley during Ben-Hur without speech.  How did brother get the other piglets to even understand what the word means? Kah-ray-zee. 

Here’s more about how they made the guinea pigs move.  The contraption that brother has “invented” looks a little steampunk, too, though it is more likely modeled on a simple, anachronistic machine to generate electricity.

I keep imagining the fat one saying something outrageous back to the camera, because that’s probably not the only vocabulary it learned.  Or even the rowers humming “The  Song of the Volga Boat Men.”  Maybe the agency will add this aspect in the next commercial they make of this man and his guinea pigs. Maybe they’ll meet the GeckoShoo-bee, shoo-bee-doo-bee-doo.

~ by blksista on December 8, 2011.

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