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Geico Gecko Evolves Into Icon

Oct. 27 2008, Published 7:07 a.m. ET

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LIZARD KING Gecko In today's Wall Street Journal—Hey, it's free today!—Suzanne Vranica reports that Geico Corp. spent $403 million on those constantly running talking gecko and caveman ads in 2005 and raised that by 20% in 2006. (For perspective, the paper points out that Coca-Cola spent $326.1 million on ads during the same period—and yet they still lost Jimmy Fallon and Parker Posey to Pepsi.)

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The ads have many high profile fans, including Katie Couric and gazillionaire Warren Buffett, whose Berkshire Hathaway owns the company: "I love the advertising," he tells the Journal. AdWeek clearly does as well, naming the lizard one of its top ad icons of 2005. (In 2006, that honor went to Colonel Sanders of KFC.)

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