Tag Archives: Stephanie Courtney

Progressive Insurance clown makeup

Flo the Progressive Insurance checkout cashierMy favorite TV commercial has to be the Dr Pepper candy aisle parade, but next best is Progressive Insurance’s painted lady Flo. The unselfconscious checkout geek is simply a brilliant solution to a daunting PR challenge. Who does not despise their insurance company? We hate their greed and eagerness to invade our privacy, in the person of the operator trying to glean more information than you want to tell, to the adjuster intent on paying out as little as possible. How then does an ad campaign portray an insurance spokesperson who is likeable and still believable?

Make her an object of ridicule, although oblivious to judgment. Flo’s not prettier than anyone, nor smarter, nor certainly fashionable, and as a result she is completely non-threatening. Throw in an indefatigable enthusiasm and she becomes endearing beyond words. She’s an insurance rep you can’t hate because why bother?

Nothing new to the stereotype, Flo is Madge of Palmolive meets Drew Carey’s nemesis Mimi Bobeck. But they obviously threw in sex appeal, which I lack for insight to deconstruct.