The key to a great story is to have great characters. They are relatable individuals or their eccentricities make them unforgettable. This ideal has worked for television advertising as well, as there are now many commercials that stand out for their leading roles. Yes, personalities like the reptile, the quirky saleswoman, the hairy Neanderthals, the redhead in the convenient store, the attractive man from the bathroom, and the random guy rocking the seventies style make ads stand out in the sea of commercial breaks and stick out in our minds, but who are they behind the camera? Of course, the internet age makes it possible for us to know the great people behind the iconic characters of tv advertising. Here’s a who’s-who of some popular commercial characters.
Flo, the Progressive Girl—The quirky “insurance expert” is portrayed by actress and comedian Stephanie Courtney. Courtney has had a number of other television and movie roles, like that of Kevin’s mom in Nickelodeon’s Fred series, Marge on the AMC drama Mad Men, Beth in Showtime’s United States of Tara, and a reporter in Blades of Glory. She is also part of an LA comedy troupe called the Groundlings.
Wendy’s Girl—Drop the old salads and roller food for Morgan Smith Goodwin, a successful name on Broadway, and a blonde in real life! She has received a nomination for Best Actress in a Musical. Some of her notable parts are Lilly St. Regis in Annie, Roxie in Chicago, Sandy in Grease, and Minnie Fay in Hello Dolly! Find more on her at her own website.
Old Spice guy—The man your man could smell like is Isaiah Mustafa. Before his Old Spice days, he played college and professional football. Some tv appearances he’s made were in Ugly Betty, NCIS, NCIS Los Angeles, and Castle. He’s also in The Three Stooges, Charlie’s Angels, Horrible Bosses, and Madea’s Big Happy Family.
Geico Cavemen—Geico’s Stone Age men are today’s Jeff Daniel Phillips are Ben Weber. They also starred in the short-lived 2007 ABC comedy Cavemen, which was based on their Geico personas. Weber played in Sex and the City and in The Secret Life of the American Teenager. Phillips has acted in Europe and founded the theatre workshop Circus Minimus.
Geico Gecko–Jake Wood is the voice of the Geico Gecko. He is well-known on British television, particularly for his role in EastEnders.
Who wouldn’t love a perky, helpful sales clerk like Flo, want to eat lunch with a cute redhead, find a dreamy man in someone like the Old Spice dude, be intrigued by an accented gecko or a random Magnum, P.I. wannabe, or laugh at cavemen living in the twenty-first century? These friendly and funny personalities make a significant personal appeal. It’s what makes them pleasing to viewers and assets to the brand they promote Between Broadway and Hollywood, our favorite ad spot stars are certainly a great bunch in talent!