Ad of the Day: Homebuyers Start Turning Into Their Parents in Progressive’s New Ads

Look who's grown up

Some serious Mommy and Daddy issues are amusingly on display in Arnold Worldwide's latest campaign for Progressive insurance.

Homebuyers assume the most annoying traits of their parents in the ads, based on the insight that folks change in weird ways when they buy their first home. "It's as if you flip the 'grownup switch,' " Cat Kolodij, Progressive's business leader for marketing strategy and innovation, tells Adweek. "For many of us, the first time we realize we are grown up is when we catch ourselves doing something our mom or dad always did."

The spot below shows a young wife acting like her father, with a gruff attitude, manly mannerisms and, worst of all, a taste for watching golf on TV:

Honey, let's get divorced. You can keep the house!

Next, a husband takes on the fuss-budget traits of his mother, right down to obsessive vacuuming and serving deviled eggs at all hours of the day:

"Daughters are influenced by fathers as much as mothers," Kolodij says. "Sons are influenced by mothers as much as fathers. We didn't think the story had to conform to a traditional 'daughter-becomes-her-mother' paradigm. Since the insight is so true, we find people quickly get the idea."

Too bad the characters didn't start dressing up like Flo and chasing each other around with name-your-price tools. (We're assured the iconic ad character will return for Progressive in the near future.)

The new work trades in sitcom-y cliches, but director Roman Coppola keeps the material from lapsing into complete absurdity and coaxes spirited performances from the cast.

"Roman is very good at identifying what's funny in an idea or a scene, and then nurturing that thing without overdoing it or pointing at it too hard," says agency executive creative director Sean McBride. "He told us from the beginning that he wanted to create moments that looked and felt like they were lifted from these people's lives."

On set, improvisation was strongly encouraged.

"Roman got the actors to really think about their own parents and the characteristics it would be funny for them to inherit," Kolodij says. "In this case, the actor who finds himself becoming his mother, was able to pull great lines he told us came straight from his own experience growing up."

CREDITS
Client: Progressive Insurance

Agency: Arnold Worldwide
Global Chief Creative Officer: Jim Elliott
EVP, Executive Creative Director: Sean McBride
SVP, Group Creative Director: Marc Sobier
Copywriter: Lora Faris
Art Director: Jennifer Fisher
Strategy: Catherine Sheehan, Cordelia Fasoldt
Marketing: Elliott Seaborn, Vallerie Bettini, Alexandra McSweeney
Producers: Sean Vernaglia, Jacquelyn Malis
Project Manager: Erin Sullivan
Business Affairs: Jaime Guild

Production Company: The Directors Bureau
Production Company Executive Producer:  Lisa Margulis
Production Company Line Producer: Julie Sawyer
Director: Roman Coppola
Cinematographer: Jeff Cronenweth
Editorial Company: Cosmo Street
Producer: Anne Lai
Editor: Aaron Langley

Music Company: JSM Music
Creative Director Co-Composer: Joel Simon
Co-Composer:Seamus Kilmartin
Exec Producer:Jeff Fiorello
Music Title:"Parentamorphosis"
Recording Studio: Soundtrack Boston
Recording Engineer: Mike Secher
Sound Design Company: Soundtrack Boston
Sound Designer: Mike Secher
VFX: Zero VFX

Talent:
"Daddeostatis" – Brittany Belland, Matthew Bohrer
"Mommeostatis" – Nate Michaux, Betsy Smith