Sure Geico’s ‘Mom’ is a caricature. But all’s forgiven in this genuinely funny spot.

Geico’s latest commercials, created by The Martin Agency are diverse. They’re set in situations ranging from a medieval dungeon to a modern operating room. All they share besides the “It’s what you do” button is a tendency to open with a common movie or TV-show trope.

In the latest one, a James Bond-style chase scene is interrupted when the spy’s mom calls, at the worst possible moment. Cut to mom, a very comfortably retired suburbanite, played by actress Cindy Drummond.

This spot has a 97.5% positive rating on Several comments on YouTube suggest copywriter Ken Marcus' observation about his own mom is consistent with moms everywhere. 

Cindy Drummond's deadpan 'mom' is a caricature of the 60-something parent who is utterly clueless when it comes to understanding what’s going on in her kids’ lives. 

I presume Geico’s brief targeted a broad demo ― and of course all TV ads tend to skew older these days, since the TV audience is, frankly, old. So consumers who are the same age as the mom character are amongst the ad’s target (or should be.)

With that in mind, you might think re: would slam The Martin Agency for the ageist stereotype. But, you’d be wrong, I’m actually more than cool with it. First of all, the son is a caricature too, and the opening sequence is a spy flick parody. So it’s all in good fun. And, all’s forgiven when spots are genuinely funny; I especially like the button when we come back to mom and she asks if her son’s at a Zumba class. At least she knows what Zumba is.

Adweek credits Sean Riley (CD) and Ken Marcus (copywriter) on the spot. That’s a pairing with a combined age of at least 90. While neither is anywhere close to the age of the mom character they created, those two are old by ad agency standards. Maybe that’s why they were inclined to handle the retiree character with good humor.

Marcus told Adweek that his mom calls him at the worst times. That gave the creatives the segue they needed to get back to Geico’s “It’s what you do” theme. The primary demographic target in this commercial are people whose moms call them, not the moms themselves. And if they’d executed the spot poorly, Martin and Geico would’ve alienated older women.

But, there’s no demo so old that ‘funny’ stops working.