So, which is more annoying: Progressive’s Flo in real life or rendered as a stop-motion animated character by the team behind Adult Swim’s Robot Chicken?
Decide for yourself after watching the ads below.
They feature everybody’s (least?) favorite insurance salesclerk and her sidekick Jamie, presented Robo-style by Stoopid Buddy Stoodios, which developed the campaign with Turner Ignite’s Content Partnerships team. (And yes, Flo actors Stephanie Courtney and Jim Cashman voice their animated characters.)
In one ad, Flo throws some sweet shade and uses Progressive’s name-your-price tool for a mic drop during an impromptu rap battle:
“Stop-motion animation offered Progressive an outlet to introduce Flo in a way that consumers haven’t seen before,” Dan Riess, executive vp of content partnerships and co-head of Turner Ignite, tells AdFreak. “We were able to deliver on this vision in an environment and voice we know resonates with Adult Swim’s passionate fans and millennial audiences.”
This marks Turner Ignite’s first content foray with Progressive, though the team has done similar work for other brands. These include a Rick and Morty-themed spot for Carl’s Jr./Hardee’s and an animated video produced by CNN’s Courageous Studio to promote Amazon’s show Man in the High Castle.
“We’re helping advertisers stand out and own experiences less like traditional advertising, and more like our consumers’ favorite shows,” Riess says.
Next, Flo flashes some mad skillz in an insurance-themed pick-up game:
“Flo has come to life in many ways over the years, and we continually explore alternative options to keep all our characters fresh and culturally relevant,” says Bruce Perlman, Progressive’s integrated marketing business leader.
One example is her leather-and-studs biker-babe persona, vividly (apocalyptically?) brought to life last summer.
For the stop-motion campaign, now running across Progressive’s overall media schedule, no computer trickery was involved. “This was done by hand, all animated by humans one frame at a time,” says director Tom Sheppard. His crew “put together storyboards, recorded voices, cut together an animatic, built sets and puppets and animated in stop motion,” he says. “What you see in the commercials is 96.8 percent handmade.”
These ads presumably extend Flo’s shelf life and give fans a chance to savor her perky pitch-work in a whole new light.
As for detractors, well, that hoop spot offers some hope. After her decisive dunk, Flo vaults over the backboard and tumbles higher and higher into the sky. No doubt some viewers hope she’ll keep right on going.
Client: Progressive Insurance
Jeanine Delsanter – Sr. Marketing Specialist
Miriam Deitcher – Director of Advertising
Stoopid Buddy Stoodios:
Seth Green – Co-Creator and Executive Producer, Robot Chicken
Matt Senreich – Co-Creator and Executive Producer, Robot Chicken
John Harvatine IV – Executive Producer
Eric Towner – Executive Producer
Tom Sheppard – Writer & Director
Zeb Wells – Writer
Barb Cimity – Line Producer
Karen Knighton – Associate Producer
Whitney Loveall – Production Manager
Chris Hartley – VP, Production, On-air
Gill Austin – Creative Director, On-air
Edward Poole – Director, Partnership Marketing
Sara Hardy – Sr Editor, On-air
Andy Wengerd – VP, Content Partnerships
Cara Turner – Director, Content Partnerships
Blair Shiffman – Director, Content Partnerships
Turner Ad Sales:
Troy VanVooren – Account Executive
Shannon Lapanowski – Account Executive