Ted Ward serves as vice president of marketing for Geico, or the Government Employees Insurance Co. He joined the company in 1984, was named assistant vice president in 1989, assumed responsibility for Geico's marketing operation in 1994 and moved into his current position in 1996.
Ward is a graduate of the University of Virginia and earned his MBA in marketing at the College of William and Mary. He talked with staff writer Thomas Heath about how Geico comes up with its ad campaigns.
QWhy do you have a little lizard with a British accent as your spokesman?
AA creative guy at the Martin Agency in Richmond and myself came up with the gecko after a focus group was calling our company both geeko and gecko. We were sharing a cold beverage. The guy scribbles on a napkin a picture of a brand icon that's a green lizard, a gecko. The thought was, "I'm a gecko, not to be confused with Geico." We have woven it into the very fabric of the company.