Frontline Marketing

Progressive Insurance Talks About Flo’s New Animated Look

Screen Capture from Robot Chicken Progressive Auto Insurance Episode Commercial

By | March 17, 2017

Flo (played by actress, Stephanie Courtney), the smart and helpful Progressive Insurance clerk who is featured in a multitude of “Superstore” commercials, got a makeover recently alongside her well-known cast of characters. The insurance company partnered with Adult Swim’s stop-motion animated comedy show, Robot Chicken to produce two 30-second spots to promote the benefits of the Name Your Price Tool.

The commercials debuted last week across Adult Swim, Cartoon Network and Progressive’s overall media schedule. “Air Flo,” where the character shows off her amazing dunking skills, was previewed during the NBA All-Star Weekend on TBS/TNT, taking advantage of the relevant and heightened environment. The second TV spot, called “Hustlin’ Flo” shows that she can throw down with a hip hop battle anytime.

The partnership is part of an experiment with the tried-and-true creative model, which has produced more than 150 TV spots to date. It seeks to engage with Adult Swim’s passionate fans and a younger demographic in general.

When asked how the partnership with Adult Swim came together, Bruce Perlman, integrated marketing business leader at Progressive Insurance, told [a]listdaily that, “our team had a vision of bringing Flo and our cast of characters to life in an animated way. We were interested in collaborating creatively with a media partner who we knew had animated programming, and we already had a trusted media relationship with Turner, the broadcast company for Adult Swim.”

In discussing why Progressive chose to experiment with its creative model, Perlman said that “Progressive encourages a test-and-learn philosophy, which is highlighted in the way Flo has come to life in so many ways over the years. Working with Stoopid Buddy Stoodios and the Adult Swim family on stop motion was another interesting way for Progressive to get creative with our advertising, while maintaining the authenticity of the characters and staying true to our brand.”

Perlman also discussed how Flo’s new animated look fit in with Progressive’s brand message, established by the live-action commercials. “Stoopid Buddy Stoodios, the production company behind Robot Chicken, are the experts in stop motion animation, just as we’re experts in insurance,” he explained. “Together we were able to create a network extension of Flo and our cast of characters, while keeping the tone and message of our brand consistent with our live-action ads.”

So, will we be seeing more of animated Flo in the future? “We’re always looking for new creative ways to keep Flo culturally relevant and fresh,” said Perlman. “This stop motion collaboration is a creative outlet for the brand, and allowed us to produce scenarios we might not be able to capture in live-action.”