Ad Exec Blogging Through Terminal Cancer Tried To Kill The Geico Gecko 4 Times

Business Insider

View photo

.
mike hughes the martin agency

Ric Kallaher

Ad executive Mike Hughes is sharing his life lessons and regrets as he blogs through his two-decade fight with lung cancer, which might be nearing an end.

Hughes is the president of The Martin Agency, and his blog, "Unfinished Thinking," reveals a secret about one of the biggest advertising campaigns in the U.S.: The GEICO Gecko.

" One of the joys of being an agency president or creative director is that you get credit for the work the people around you create," Hughes writes. "I’ve built my career on the talents of a lot of talented people. I didn’t develop the gecko. In fact I tried to kill it. Four times. No kidding."

geico-gecko

Youtube

The GEICO Gecko

The precocious reptile was dreamed up in a meeting in the late 1990s when creatives were discussing the public's inability to pronounce "GEICO" properly. Thus, the GEICO gecko was born.

While Hughes might have hated the pint-sized spokescharacter, the gecko has become a staple of American advertising culture. He even wrote a book this year.

Hughes' overall message, however, is far more profound than just noting that he was against the very gecko that brought his shop critical acclaim.

So here’s my idea. In addition to sending me a note about how wonderful I am (and, yes, I still want those notes), send one to someone else – someone who may not get all the hurrahs I’m getting. Maybe it’s your kid’s teacher. Maybe it’s the woman in the next cubicle. Maybe it’s a niece or nephew who’s been through a rough time lately. Maybe it’s your oldest friend. Maybe it’s your newest. Everyone deserves to hear the things that will be said about them at their funerals before their funerals.



More From Business Insider
View Comments (0)