Progressive ad

Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share

8 January 2018

Progressive ad hilarious, without a point

Humor in advertising often serves as a way to be memorable. But there are also times when it completely overshadows the point of advertising at all. The recent Progressive ad demonstrates that.

If you know the characters, such as motherly Flo and weakling Jamie, the most recent Progressive spot is downright hilarious.

“What, you’re not supposed to use humor? Of course you can. It does make ads memorable. But it only steals market share if the message embedded in it resonates. If the point of the ad is just that Progressive offers a home-auto bundle, why is it so forgettable?”

But, now that you’ve seen it, what the hell was the point of this Progressive ad? You need to pause the ad frame by frame to find Jamie saying his great life is a result of the Progressive home and auto bundle.

But that’s it. People see advertising in a snapshot, which is why your message must be clear and single-minded. Few, if any, even hear the words “home-auto bundle” in this Progressive ad.

As a skit, the ad is a freakin’ riot. I admit I laughed when Jamie strummed the guitar with the pitch-perfect Latino voice. But does it do anything for Progressive?

Progressive ad campaign does nothing to steal market share

Progressive adI know what some of you are thinking, including the agency of record, Arnold Worldwide. What, you’re not supposed to use humor?

Of course you can. It does make ads memorable. But it only steals market share if the message embedded in it resonates. If the point of the ad is just that Progressive offers a home-auto bundle, why is it so forgettable?

For one thing, it’s not a message at all. It’s just a statement of an offering. Nothing else. And it’s systematic of what ails so much advertising today. They are more for entertainment than to increase the bottom line.

A funny spot like this Progressive ad might work for raising awareness. But who doesn’t know Progressive? It spends more than $600 million per year on advertising. You can’t get away from the carrier.

It’s crazy for all the insurance carriers. The market is relatively static because few consumers actually switch. For all the insane amount of money they spend on advertising, market share remains the same. State Farm is on top, as it has been for decades, followed by GEICO, Progressive and Allstate.

All that advertising spend does is play defense. Because no one has a better message than “home-auto bundle.”

Even the most hilarious spot on TV today, another Progressive ad, only touts savings. Just like GEICO and all the rest.

But, I do have to admit. It is funny.

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