(ABC NEWS) -- The latest commercial from insurance giant Geico has nothing to do
with cars or the auto insurance the company sells, but has become the
Maryland-based company's greatest hit, even among middle-schoolers.
The commercial features a camel named Caleb wandering around an
office asking a simple question - "What day is it?" - until he gets the
answer he wants, "It's hump day."
That simple phrase, "It's hump day," has become so popular that the quirky commercial has been viewed nearly 16 million times on YouTube and has spawned nearly 50,000 parodies and reposts.
At one middle school in Connecticut, the "hump day" hype became such a
distraction that teachers had to ask kids to tone it down.
"Everybody's walking around in the hallways and saying, 'It's hump
day,' in that weird voice," Brooke Lewis, a student at Vernon Center
Middle School, in Vernon, Conn., told ABC News.
"They do it every day," said another student, Jacob Ruggerio.
After a handful of students in the middle school's sixth- and
seventh-grade classes became so enamored with repeating the phrase, a
teacher had to step in to stop the disruption.
"My understanding is that the teacher, doing appropriate classroom
management for middle school, said, 'All right guys, settle down, that's
enough,'" Superintendent of Schools Dr. Mary P. Conway told
ABCNews.com. "They did it one more time and the teacher said, 'That's
enough. I don't want to hear it again.'
"This is something that happens in every middle school in the country every day."
Geico is used to using animals to promote its array of insurance
products. Its signature mascot, the gecko, is a staple of their
advertising strategy, and they've also used a pig, Maxwell, in the past.
The advertising firm behind the ad, The Martin Agency, has already
capitalized on Caleb the Camel's Internet fame, releasing two new ads
featuring the camel. The new ads feature Caleb patrolling the aisles of
a movie theater convincing people to turn off their cell phones, according to AdWeek.