Paul the Octopus Stars in New Pepsi Ad — How Does He Measure Up to the Geico Gecko?


Paul the octopus may be retiring from his duties as World Cup clairvoyant, but instead of turning in his application to become a Wal-Mart greeter, he went for something a little more high-profile. His likeness will appear in Pepsi ads with his tentacle wrapped around the can and the caption, “The Obvious Choice.” This probably was an obvious choice: Paul will likely be the most pampered octopus ever if he can rake in fame and money rivaling the Geico gecko. So, who’s the better advertising spokes-creature? We investigate:

On a scale of 1-10:
Let’s face it, eight legs and jet propulsion beat two legs and two, um, arm-like smaller legs, without a doubt.
Paul: 10
Gecko: 5

Growth Potential, Synergy
In addition to an ad deal, Paul now has an unofficial Ask the Octopus iPhone application. His career is taking off just like jet propulsion! The gecko, however, is cornered by Geico — in fact, he doesn’t exist without the ad team of his parent company.
Paul: 9
Gecko: 5

Super-Species Abilities
A psychic octopus vs. a talking gecko — this is where shit gets weird. However, since (most) humans don’t have psychic abilities, Paul’s wow-factor wins.
Paul: 9
Gecko: 8

Audience Engagement
The gecko is America’s cheerfully well-spoken sweetheart; we want to take him out for a chat over coffee and give him a great big hug. He’s friggin’ adorable. But love (and a little hate) for Paul has poured out from around the world — there’s no matching that.
Paul: 9
Gecko: 6

Paul is new on the ad scene and the gecko has been chatting up TV viewers since 2005. Also, octopi typically only live for five years, while cartoon geckos are potentially immortal — imagine that, Geico commercials forever.
Paul: 5
Gecko: 10

Best Name
Geico gecko, where’s the fun in that? But, Paul, now that’s a name fit for a successful middle-aged man, or a young banker, or, apparently, a psychic octopus.
Paul: 8
Gecko: 5

Grand Total:
Paul: 50
Gecko: 39

Paul beats the gecko! He’s new on the ad scene, but he already at the peak of his career — Paul’s killin’ it!