Have you caught them yet? Progressive Insurance has recently launched a new campaign centered around this super-focused and serious sign spinner. He’s no Flo, played by actress and comedian Stephanie Courtney, but he’s not supposed to be either.
It’s a departure, right? Um, yeah. Our advertising agency in Orlando, tried to give this new direction a chance, but couldn’t find a redeeming quality other than the fact is made us write about.
They tried introducing Jamie, a sidekick for Flo, then Motaur and now this. The young man is quirky and awkward which makes us a little uncomfortable to watch. Almost as if we’re watching someone doing his court mandated community service. Is this supposed to make me care about Progressive? Aside from using the sign as the commercial’s CTA, where is the connection with the audience?
If the storyline doesn’t make you want to slide down off your sofa and hide on the floor, wait until the voiceover comes in. The bored and negative sounding female voice says “switch to Progressive and you can save hundreds. You know, like the sign says.”
The Flo campaign is one of those examples of advertising brilliance. A fictional spokesperson who is funny, relatable, and helps bridge the gap between consumers and the brand by making emotional connections. Additionally, the campaign is a positive one which subconsciously spreads positive associations with the Progressive brand. The creation of Flo was the brainchild of global ad agency and marketing agency, Arnold Worldwide and apparently these other deviations such as the sign spinner are also from the same advertising agency. Perhaps another creative team had been given an opportunity to see what they could do with insurance company brand. But to break from a successful campaign that has made your lead character iconic to try out a new concept seems like a bad strategy. And the negative sign spinning loser association can’t possible place Progressive in a favorable light. If the various rumblings throughout the Internet are any indicator, this direction is a flop. Check out what people are saying on this Reddit community appropriately called Commercials I Hate.
Most recently, Progressive’s marketing agency decided to take the sign spinner campaign a bit further by forcing us to get to know the main character who’s real name is still a mystery with the introduction of actress Sunita Mani as his girlfriend. You may remember her as Trenton in a USA Network television series called Mr. Robot or most recently in the Netflix comedy series GLOW, where she plays the role of Arthie Premkumar.
It seems that that this new campaign misses the mark and does not help the brand connect with consumers who are attracted to better and more positive messaging from competitors such as Farmers Insurance, State Farm, Allstate Insurance, and Liberty Mutual Insurance.
The Wagner Agency which is an creative agency and marketing agency headquartered in Orlando, Florida has created numerous commercials for TV, radio, and web. Our content production studio, wgnr., includes several award winning writers, directors, and producers. This division at our marketing was created to respond to the growing need for quality video and audio content that can be produced with a rapid turnaround time. There are many instances where brands need to act immediately before the window of opportunity closes. Wgnr is able to meet those demands without sacrificing quality.