Edging out those fingerless blogging gloves as the weirdest schwag so far is this lovely, vaguely Geico Caveman-branded promotional votive candle holder from the Geico party downtown. It holds five small candles in an array of neutral colors sure to complement your cave, your thatched hut or even your apartment (if you’ve evolved past the hunter/gatherer stage.) The package also thoughtfully included a box of tumbled pebbles, presumably to decorate your candle holder with a tasteful, mellow precambrian vibe. This is part of Gieco’s IHeartCavemen.com campaign, an ironic web-dating/ social networking site which allows you to turn your photo into a caveman, thus fulfilling all the promises of Web 2.0.
At the launch party, I declined to have my photo taken with the Geico Caveman, but he wasn’t shy about giving hugs and kisses to the ladies. Though I am convinced that social networking websites are here to stay, I’m not entirely convinced the world really needs one that caters to the cavemen set. There are a lot of lessons the advertising community can learn from the Geico Caveman campaign. But there is big lesson I can vouch for: no one wants to lug a candle holder and a box of rocks around SXSW. Next time stick with a coozie.