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skot AT izzlepfaff DOT com

Thursday, 15 March


GEICO has two basic sets of ads these days: the ones with the gecko and the ones with the cavemen. I know a lot of people who hate these ads (the cavemen ones, anyway), and I can understand. For one, they really are overaired, and for another, they vary wildly in comedic value. (For those of you TV absolutists, the basic thrust of these meta-ads is that cavemen are still living amongst us, and they are offended that GEICO would suggest that getting insurance is so easy that "even a caveman" could do it. This isn't admittedly Wildean territory.)

I know I'm fucking sick and tired of the caveman in the airport (though I still like the little touch that he has a tennis racket) if only because I hate that fucking Royksopp song, which sounds a lot like what Air would sound like if they were transported back in time to 1974 and castrated.

But honestly? There is one caveman ad that kills me every time, and that is the caveman party. Two cavemen are outside the party on the balcony, and one is depressed. As he speaks to friend caveman, it is revealed that despite GEICO's offensive anti-caveman ad concept, he bought insurance with them anyway, resulting in his friends ostracizing him for his betrayal of his caveman brethren. "It's my life, all right?" he bridles hilariously. The whole ad is really fraught with the kind of Seriousness that you'd normally expect to see on something like "Law & Order," which is what makes what happens next so great.

A third caveman bursts out onto the balcony, interrupting this heavy dialogue. "Tina's here; we're getting back together!" he happily informs the first two. "Hey! Give us a minute!" cries friend caveman in frustration.

It is awesome, and I am willing to forgive GEICO the other, much lamer spots for the pure nailing of this particular moment.

It is a goodwill that will instantly be extinguished when ABC--if this dreary network insists on following reported plans to do this horrible thing--actually airs the TV show that is reportedly in development that involves the GEICO cavemen.

Our culture has a rich history of television cavemen: Captain Caveman. The Flintstones. Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer. Two were hideous, unfunny cartoons and Phil Hartman was murdered. Are you listening, ABC?

Note: I'm not forgetting Encino Man, although that would be nice. I just would like to mention that Brendan Fraser, who played the title character in that alleged film, went to college with my wife, and that once, some years ago, they stole some guy's dog because he abused it. Hooray!

If you're not one of those aforementioned anti-TV drones, then you've certainly already got this hellish jingle running in your brain. And you're probably already remembering the astonishingly annoying over-gelled blonde kid who stretches his lips at the camera and says, "I'm thiiiiinking of a number!"

The number this little manque is referring to is, of course, one's credit score. The ad for this bunch of lousy suckpoles is for this fucking website that will, for only $12.95 a month--wait, that's not quite free, is it?--give you your credit report and also email you "changes" to your credit report. What a deal! It isn't free, but hey, I'm willing to trust a website that lies to you right in the URL! And never mind that by law, the credit bureaus are required to provide everyone with a copy of their credit report each year. Or never mind that one can always pay Experian to provide one whenever one wants for fifteen bucks. Or, for forty bucks, you can get the reports from all of them, should you really need to get that information twice or more in the space of twelve months.

Maybe just didn't know any of this! It's probably all a vast mistake and they thought they were actually providing a valuable service! One that's free! Or pretty close to free, at thirteen bucks a month! From their website: and are not affiliated with the annual free credit report program. Under a new Federal law, you have the right to receive a free copy of your credit report once every 12 months from each of the three nationwide consumer reporting companies. To request your free annual report under that law, you must go to

No, they knew it all the time. They also knew enough to print that information in helpful blue-on-blue text. Because they just want to help.


I have nothing against Quizno's. In fact, I've never eaten at Quizno's. Actually, I'm not even sure where the nearest Quizno's is. I don't even have anything against their ads, generally: they tend to be a lot of man-on-the-street stuff with ord'nary folks really enjoying their sandwiches and aggressively pointing out how horrible Subway sandwiches are by comparison.

"Now this is prime beef," some ordinary Joe will say while erotically fingering a gorgeous sandwich, resplendently bursting with meat and cheese. Invariably, a Subway sandwich is lying next to it, looking like something fished out of a landfill. The Joe regards it with revulsion: "You can really smell the rat meat. Do they serve these on Death Row?" Nothing special going on here.

But there is a new ad. It's only a small part of the ad, but it is so horrifying, it stands out every time I see it. Again, regular folks are sampling a Quizno's sandwich, and are all uniformly transported to nearly religious experiences when eating these subs. One is a reasonably attractive woman who is holding her half-eaten sandwich insouciantly, perhaps as if it were some sort of metaphoric meat-stick that is somehow inherently enjoyable to hold in one's hand and occasionally put in one's mouth.

Then, unfortunately, she speaks.

"It's not lackin' any meat! And that's what real women need!" Then she laughs.

It isn't the vapid, idiotically charged line that she volunteers; that would be bad enough. Real women want lots of long cock. This is no sandwich for dykes! Hee hee! No, the real horror here is her laugh, believe it or not. I'm not sure I can describe it. It's a multi-toned sort of loathsome giggle, the kind of maniac laugh that every man fears to hear after some ill-considered one-night stand. It's the laugh you dread to hear waking up naked next to a stranger, and it is followed by the phrase, "By the way, my love for you burns me like hot irons. Oh, and speaking of which, I've got a hot iron. Don't move."

If we could hear the cries of bats hunting in the night, it would sound like her laugh. It is the sound of a lumbar puncture. The laugh is the granite grinding of millwheels in Hell as the femurs fall into the stones, and you're the one pushing the wheels, and the Quizno's gal is striping your tattered back with the lash.

And the music you hear as you push along is: "Freeeee creeedit repooort dot com!"

Note: Comments are closed on old entries.


Quizno's has a long history of making unwatchable ads - don't tell me you've forgotten the guy sucking a wolf teat? Or the Spongmonkeys?

It usually takes about a year or so after one of Quizno's gloriously misguided ad campaigns until I can bring myself to have their food again. Which is a shame, because they make the best damn subs around.

Comment number: 012521   Posted by: Brian on March 16, 2007 02:05 AM from IP:

"'I just would like to mention that Brendan Fraser, who played the title character in that alleged film, went to college with my wife, and that once, some years ago, they stole some guy's dog because he abused it."

i'd just like to point out that i had to read this sentence twice before i figured out that "he abused it" didn't refer to brendan fraser. maybe it's just me.

Comment number: 012524   Posted by: alison on March 16, 2007 08:37 AM from IP:

If you don't like the caveman ads, you are my enemy. Yes, Skot, I'm afraid even the airport ad. Our friendship is over ... until we drink whiskey again.

Comment number: 012525   Posted by: Peggy on March 16, 2007 09:34 AM from IP:

This posting was a part of the settlement, wasn't it? Or have I said too much?

Comment number: 012526   Posted by: norm on March 16, 2007 09:46 AM from IP:

The laugh! Yes! Yes. Thank you.

Comment number: 012528   Posted by: Aoife on March 16, 2007 11:59 AM from IP:

Here's one for you, Skot. The retirement company with the "800-pound gorilla in the room." NO. It's either the "800-pound gorilla who sits anywhere he (or she) wants" OR it's "the elephant in the room." There is NO SUCH THING as the "800-pound gorilla in the room." Stop screwing with well-established adages!

Comment number: 012529   Posted by: Elayne Riggs on March 16, 2007 12:25 PM from IP:

That DiSaronno ad you mentioned once, a long time ago? I finally saw it when I was trapped on the treadmill in the gym. That guy's horrible smile, spreading until you're sure that the next millimeter will reveal the worms where his gums used to be, haunts my dreams now. And therefore I beg you to stop telling me about these fucking ads, because next year I'm sure I'll be afflicted with the caveman ad and I'll get PTSD.

Comment number: 012553   Posted by: Kate on March 17, 2007 09:13 AM from IP:

I hate that DiSaronno commercial. It blows. You are spot on here Skot. Those cavemen creep out my seven year old. He's like "mom, turn the channel, please".
My ex husband and I stole this guy's dog and her puppies once cause he'd tied the mom away from the babies, in the Florida sun, with no food or water and wouldn't let the mom nurse. I still have the Polaroids we took in case the cops showed up, to prove she was a skeleton. And this was a pure bred dog he paid for. Unbelievable. Mrs. Skot, you rock!

Comment number: 012567   Posted by: Alyxmyself on March 17, 2007 04:50 PM from IP:

Ah, the laugh! She's a smaller Asian woman, and you can only imagine that she'll be in the Americanized version of Audition.

Comment number: 012620   Posted by: patita on March 19, 2007 10:51 AM from IP:

I hear this commercial last night. I think the beef loving woman's voice will haunt me, with it's vapid annoyingness.

Comment number: 012621   Posted by: angstmama on March 19, 2007 11:09 AM from IP:

My visceral loathing for Meat Woman knows no bounds.

Comment number: 012636   Posted by: Cordelia on March 20, 2007 02:20 PM from IP:

I'm not a fan of the "It's the UBER-meat" part of the Quizno's spot, either, but yes, YES! What an awful commercial.

Comment number: 012640   Posted by: Broad on March 20, 2007 03:34 PM from IP:

There is a growing consensus that the Meat Woman is in fact Michelle Malkin, who is preparing for life when her time as rightwing psychodiva is over, ideally sometime next week (Coultergeist has already got a gig as a chimney sweep, or at least the brush).

Also, I am shocked that you did not mention the ne plus ultra of TV caveman shows, the classic "It's About Time," featuring the comedic stylings of Imogene Coca and Joe E. Ross, with Mike Mazurski as "Clon."

Comment number: 012644   Posted by: Dr Paisley on March 20, 2007 06:03 PM from IP:

And what is up with the Quizno's 'if you don't like it you get a free sandwich" thing? If I don't like I want my goddamn money back, period, not another sandwich like it.

The only time I ever ate at a Quiznos, it was waaay too much bread, waay too much insides, and rather more than I wanted to pay. I like Subway, the price is right AND the portion is right.

As well, we have the Best Sub Chain EVAH, Planet Subway, who's 6" BLT is my Platonic ideal of the perfect sandwich. Right portion, right amount of everything, toasted and, well, perfect. And costs less than Quizno's. About same as Subway.

Comment number: 012648   Posted by: Paula Murray on March 20, 2007 08:08 PM from IP:

I've long been vaguely offended by Carl's Jr's adds targeted toward big dumb men. I rarely see commercials these days (Thanks, Tivo!) but I kind of like the little Gecko guy and have chuckled at the caveman. And I loved the weird squashed rat Quizno's commercials they used to play.

Comment number: 012649   Posted by: Diesel on March 20, 2007 09:16 PM from IP:

Ahhhh. Thank you so much for acknowledging the horrific Meat Woman. It's the intake of air at the end of her laugh that hurts the most, like when she exhales again black plague will come out. By the way, if you want to see the most unbelievably irritating person, complete with vile laugh, watch "The Girls Next Door" on E!. It's the Playboy show. Kendra. Watch Kendra. It helps if you drink while you watch as well. It helps a lot.

Comment number: 012679   Posted by: rothbeastie on March 22, 2007 07:47 AM from IP:

I have to say that Geico'c caveman campaign is pretty successful on a commercial entertainment scale, but to consider making a tv show out of it...
Well it might be as bad as reality tv.

Comment number: 012702   Posted by: Harry L on March 23, 2007 01:21 PM from IP:

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