Geico’s Marco Polo Commercial

Geico’s Marco Polo Commercial

My favorite commercial on tv right now is Geico’s Marco Polo commercial. In it, a few kids are playing “Marco Polo” in a pool as Marco Polo stands in the background confused as to why they keep saying his name. Not only is it funny, it also uses Italian, which is always great to hear on American television.

Below the video, I’ve provided a translation of the Italian Marco Polo uses and a few grammar pointers based on the commercial.

 

Translation

Sì                                                                                      Yes. 

Scusa.                                                                             Excuse me.

Ma, io sono Marco Polo.                                          But, I am Marco Polo.

Ragazzini, io sono Marco Polo!                             Kids, I am Marco Polo!

Sì, sono qui.                                                                  Yes, I am here. 

Grammar

The subject pronoun is not normally used in Italian, because the conjugation of the verb already conveys the subject. One of the most frequently used verbs in Italian is essere, meaning “to be.” Essere is conjugated as follows:

  • I am: sono
  • You are: sei
  • He/she is; You (form.) are: è
  • We are: siamo
  • You (pl.) are: siete
  • They are: sono

To say, “I am Marco Polo,” Marco Polo only needs to say, “Sono Marco Polo.” He uses “io,” the pronoun for “I” to emphasize that he is Marco Polo. He does this because he thinks the kids are confused about who Marco Polo is.

Another example: In response to the question, “Chi è pronto (Who is ready)?” you and your friend could emphatically respond, “Noi siamo pronti (We are ready) !” even though you could just say “Siamo pronti.”

Marco Polo also calls the kids “ragazzini.” “Ragazzi” means guys, in the sense “Hey, you guys.” He changes it to “ragazzini” because they are kids. If it were a group of girls, he would have said, “ragazzine.” For more examples of using ino/ini to shrink something or to make it more endearing, check out my previous post on O Mio Babbino Caro. 

I hope you enjoyed this post. If you know of more fun uses of Italian on tv, leave them in the comments below.

 

4 thoughts on “Geico’s Marco Polo Commercial

  1. As a native Italian, I love this commercial. I love it even more because the actor is definitely native born Italian, unlike other commercials where the Italian is absolutely terrible.

    1. It’s a great commercial. Geico has been on a roll during the past couple of years with its commercials, but the Marco Polo one is il migliore. Thanks for stopping by, Tony!

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