A US-based insurance firm, Geico is known for its Cockney gecko as the mascot. Valve created a pair of puzzle games featuring a malevolent AI in a US-based video game firm. Ever wonder what would happen if they were to merge? You haven’t because they wouldn’t.
They did. “The Gecko Visits Portal” Geico’s new advertisement was released earlier this month. It describes how a gecko got into the Aperture Science labs and is looking for help–from GlaDOS. The evil machine is reluctant to help, and things quickly go wrong in a manner that will be familiar to anyone who has played Portal. But not before the money is saved!
It was a strange, random crossover that happened completely by accident. Valve stated that Geico approached her about collaboration, and Valve accepted it. Geico’s work is not without its moments of randomness. Recent ads for Geico also feature machine learning, an Old West shootout that went wrong, sea turtles and an Animal in an attic. It’s not as effective as Allstate’s Mayhem campaign, but I find it very interesting.
Geico isn’t the first to collaborate in videogames: Geico recently did an Angry Birds crossover.
Geico seems to be targeting older games in its ads. Angie Birds launched in 2009, right in the middle of Portal (2007) and Portal 2 (2011). It’s probably a demographic thing. People looking for insurance today likely don’t play as much gaming as they did a decade ago. This is where the nostalgia lies.
Ah, and Ellen McLain is the voice of GlaDOS in the ad.