By: Jed Lacy
Debuting in 2008, Progressive Insurance’s Flo campaign celebrates its 6th anniversary this year. Flo has appeared in over 100 ads during her time as the face for the Fortune 500 insurance company. According to an Advertising Age interview with Progressive Insurance’s Chief Executive Officer, Glenn Renwick, Flo has played an integral role in the company’s success.
“Flo has helped make Progressive a household name. She and the Superstore continue to deliver well on the value and ease messages that bring customers to Progressive,” said Renwick
Created by Progressive’s in-house marketing team, Flo was named advertising’s #1 brand icon by EW.com back in 2011. While she is most famous for her television commercials, Flo has also been able to generate conversation about the Progressive brand through the use of social media. “Flo, the Progressive girl” page on Facebook has attracted over 5,000,000 likes. When compared to the 313,680 likes for the “Geico’s Geko” page or the 1,782,036 likes for Allstate’s “Mayhem” page, Flo’s popularity demonstrates just how effectively the campaign has spread the Progressive name on social media.
While it is difficult to deny the success of Flo over the years, according to Advertising Age, 2013 marked a shift in Progressive’s advertising from the lighthearted Flo ads toward advertisements that convey a more serious tone. The need for more serious campaigns has become commonplace in insurance advertising. For instance, Allstate transitioned from its humor-based Mayhem campaign to more inspiring advertising in its “Good Life” campaign that promotes “people to live for good”.
While Flo has become a top iconic spokeswoman in all of advertising over the past 5 years, it is safe to assume that as the focus of Progressive’s advertising continues to shift toward more serious ads, we will begin to see Flo less and less. For fans of the quirky redhead, Flo’s unique brand of humor will be greatly missed.