If you asked someone to name some of the most famous company mascots, chances are high that the GEICO Gecko would make it on that list. The cartoon lizard has been featured on billboards and in commercials for years, but who’s the voice behind the gecko?
The Gecko’s First Appearance
The GEICO Gecko has been part of the insurance company since 1999 when a Screen Actors Guild strike prevented the use of live actors. The original commercial featured Frasier star Kelsey Grammer as the now-famous lizard, saying, “This is my final plea: I am a gecko, not to be confused with GEICO, which could save you hundreds on car insurance. So, stop calling me.”
GEICO’s gecko is the company’s longest-running mascot, appearing in more than 150 commercials as of 2017. After Grammer, the voice-acting was taken over by Dave Kelly, a British radio presenter and DJ, but who’s voicing the gecko today?
The British Actor Who Voices The Mascot
British actor Jake Wood is now the voice of the GEICO Gecko, giving the lizard its now-famous Cockney accent. Wood is also well known in the UK. He starred in the BBC soap opera EastEnders as Max Branning for 15 years. He left the show in February of 2021.
Wood also took part in the British version of Dancing With The Stars, called Strictly Come Dancing in 2014. He was partnered with dancer Janette Manrara and made it to the semi-finals.
Other Famous GEICO Mascots
The GEICO Gecko is definitely the insurance company’s star mascot, but he’s not the only one they’ve used over the years. Maxwell the Pig is another recurring character in the GCU (GEICO Commercial Universe). He was first seen in a commercial that played on the “This Little Piggy” nursery rhyme. His debut commercial showed him being driven home, crying “wee wee wee all the way home.”
Maxwell was intended as a one-time character, but his popularity with viewers resulted in him getting his own series of commercials. In them, he is typically featured as a tech-savvy, well-informed pig, especially when it comes to GEICO-related objects.
The insurance company doesn’t only use animated animals in their commercials. A popular series of GEICO commercials starred a group of cavemen. The commercials and print ads always featured the tagline, “GEICO: So easy, a caveman could do it,” usually followed by the cavemen’s frustration at the “stereotype” of cavemen stupidity.
GEICO is one of the most famous insurance companies in America, serving customers since 1936. However, even with all that insuring history, it’s clear that when people think of GEICO, they think of that friendly gecko.