The most enduring mascot for a company renouned for it's memorable advertising. Witness how one bad piece of radio word play changed the face of insurance.
In the late 1990s the Geico Insurance Company ran an amusing radio add joking about the similarity of their company name to the small tree lizard know as a gecko. Apparently bereft of any ideas for new advertisements after this the company decided to run it into the ground. After a brief audition process they settled on a previously unknown reptilian actor and the Gecko became the public face of Geico.
The Gecko gained immediate popularity and was soon appearing on billboards and in a long string of commercials. He soon eclipsed the "I just saved a ton of money by switching to Geico" ad campaign as the most memorable marketing tool the company had. However fame came with a price. It wasn't long before the Gecko had become addicted to a slew of substances including alcohol, cocaine (to bring him up) and morphine (to bring him down). It was noted at the time that he became abusive in his dealings with other Geico employees, often refering to them as "flesh bags" and showing an underlying racism towards humans in general.
Geico developed a silent tolerance of these behaviors, but eventually there was an incident that lead to a brief leave of absense from the company: the release of a sex tape. The tape feature the Gecko, rival insurance mascot Erin Esurance and the Afflac Duck (whom the Gecko has since had a very close but very private relationship with). The tape (filmed and released by Burger King's The King) showed the trio performing acts that lead to the initial arrest of Ms. Esurance. However charges have since been dropped since neither the Gecko nor the Duck had any complaints.
The Geico Gecko and the Afflack Duck are still seeking legal recognition of their marriage
The Gecko checked into rehab and the whole incident has been largely glossed over since he came out of treatment. The Gecko soon returned as the public face of Geico albiet with a new unexplained cockney accent. The Gecko maintains this was always his accent and he simply refuses to hide it any longer. Some company insiders have reported that the new accent is a fake affectation because he tested more trustworthy with an English accent. Still there are conspiracy theorists who point to this change in voice as the point in which the original Gecko was replaced by a Taliban created clone. These conspiracy theorists claim that members of the Taliban think all western accents sound the same and just goofed on it.
Though he now claims to be living clean the Gecko's relationship with other company mascots continues to be rather turbulant. Being the first recurring mascot for the company he tends to lord over the Cavemen and the Googly Eyed Pile of Money. Rumor has it that the Gecko personally masterminded the creation (and subsequent cancellation) of the failed Cavemen sitcom. Some claim to have overhead the Gecko saying this was done to "take those mongoloids down a peg and put them in their place."