I love the Geico cavemen. Every time the commercials flash across the t.v., I stop what I’m doing and pay attention. My current favorite is the therapist commercial: Talia Shire listens to a caveman complain about the disrespect he gets from Geico and how the insurance company’s ad campaign is ruining his life. Even his therapist wonders why he’s making a fuss—he is, after all, a caveman. You can feel his frustration building as his Blackberry buzzes….how is he going to change the negative stereotypes about cavemen when he can’t even get his therapist to understand?
I wondered why the Geico cavemen tickle my funny bone. Then I realized it’s because of the contradictions in their character. Metrosexual cavemen are just plain funny and intriguing. A hairy caveman with a protruding frontal lobe debating blow-dried cable television newscaster-bots about caveman abuse gets a belly laugh.
And that’s the key to creating a compelling character. Contradictions. A caveman beating on his chest in outrage–not so funny. A caveman with a Ph.D. in philosophy discoursing about his feelings–hilarious. Cavemen trying to make fire–boring. But cavemen walking through the airport with his tennis satchel–you get the idea.