Since his debut in 1999, the GEICO Gecko® has become one of America’s most beloved corporate icons.
The little lizard with the charming accent is also one of the hardest working. In addition to starring in a series of award-winning television commercials, the precocious reptile—brought to life by a team of GEICO ambassadors—makes more than 1,000 public appearances every year. So far in 2015, the Gecko has wowed crowds at the Daytona 500, the Rochester Lilac Festival and the Miami Boat Show, among a host of other events.
“Everyone loves the Gecko,” says Brandon Golatt from GEICO’s events team. “As soon as he is spotted, lines start forming, people start taking pictures and giving him hugs and high fives.”
The Gecko pops up at almost every event supported by GEICO. Since the company has such a busy schedule, it takes a team spread across the country to bring the iconic character to life, says Golatt.
While the people playing the Gecko may vary, the suit they don is a constant. Bright green and a little over six feet tall, the cotton–felt blend tips the scales at 10 pounds. It’s a dead ringer for the digital Gecko, who made his television debut 16 years ago. Since then, the Gecko has appeared in dozens of commercials.
So, what is it about the Gecko that makes him so popular? “We think he is so beloved because he is friendly, relatable, and a bit quirky,” says Thomas Perlozzo from the broadcast production team at GEICO. “Also, he loves helping people save money on their car insurance by spreading the word about GEICO.”
If you want to catch the Gecko in person, you’re in luck. From July to December, he’ll be at a host of events, including:
- Bite of Seattle (July 17-19, Seattle, WA)
- The New Jersey Festival of Ballooning (July 24-26, Readington, NJ)
- Musikfest (August 7-16, Bethlehem, PA)
- Maryland State Fair (August 28-September 7, Timonium, MD)
- Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta (October 3-11, Albuquerque, NM)
- New York Comic Con (October 8-11, New York, NY)
- North Carolina State Fair (October 15-25, Raleigh, NC)
- Alabama 500 (October 25, Talladega, AL)
Love our Gecko? We do too! Get firsthand updates on his adventures by following him on twitter: @theGEICOGecko.