Progressive Introduces The Motaur

Progressive’s new Motaur is like a minotaur….except that he’s half man, half motorcycle. He sometimes wishes he wasn’t a Motaur, in that he’d want legs on the bottom, and motorcyle on the top. It’s a bizarre campaign from Progressive, but surreal insurance ads are the thing these days. Anyone know who plays the Motaur?



Liberty Mutual Features A Local News Reporter And A Guy In Witness Protection

Here are two new ads from Liberty Mutual. In the first, the commercial is hijacked by local news reporter Phoebe Buckley. Pretty dumb. And as numerous comments have pointed out, Phoebe inexplicably leaves her bag. The second one is better though. A guy in witness protection is accidentally revealed…we end up seeing his face and find out it’s the friendly Mr. Landry.  Mr. Landry is played by Brian Finney…anyone know who plays Phoebe Buckley?

Progressive’s Babyman: What Do You Think?

Progressive’s “Babyman” rides in the shopping cart seat, knocks boxes off grocery store shelves, spills candy everywhere, drinks milk straight out of the carton, and is in daycare despite being an adult. A childish adult, but an adult nonetheless. Because Progressive says “Act your own age, get your own insurance.” So is Babyman insulting to the intellectually challenged, insulting to millennials, or not insulting at all? Are people too easily offended? Is it an ad that’s stupid or funny? A lot to consider here from a silly commercial. Also, anyone know who plays Babyman? He looks like he could be John Oliver’s little brother.

Are You Becoming Like Your Parents? Progressive’s Got A Support Group For You!

The other day, I found myself talking about deceptive retail prices, and said “that’s where they get you.” And then it sunk in…that’s something my dad says. As we get older, a lot of us will take on traits of our parents, for better or worse. So I chuckled at this new Progressive commercial, set at a “Dad Support Group.” We hear men and women tell honest confessions, like that they refer to every child as “chief.” Because Progressive can’t save you from becoming your parents, but they can save you when you bundle on home and auto.

State Farm Is Now Here To Help Life Go Right

State Farm is introducing a new campaign, maybe to differentiate itself from the jokey advertising that is common with competitors like Geico and Progressive. The campaign comes with the tagline “Here to Help Life Go Right.” An introductory anthem ad debuted yesterday, and has already racked up more than 2 million views. It’s visually nice and the music that comes in halfway through sounds good, but I just find it to be a bit boring. State Farm and DDB Chicago have done some excellent work though, so I’m willing to give them the benefit of the doubt. Interested to see where this campaign is going.

UnitedHealthcare: Steve Goes Pool Vaulting, Injuries Ensue

Say what you will about UnitedHealthcare as an insurance company (people close to me don’t have good things to say), but they do know how to make a funny commercial. Last year, they had big hits with their “Time Of My Life” Dirty Dancing parody, and their Rocky homage. Both of those were hilarious and well-received spots that I never wrote about on here for some reason. This new one doesn’t have a movie reference, but it reflects on faded glory. Steve did track in middle school, but it still isn’t a good idea to use the skimmer to go “pool vaulting.” The result is predictable, but nevertheless amusing. Do not attempt.

Spotlight: State Farm Is ALWAYS There

Insurance is quite practical and necessary. Selling insurance also seems like a very boring job. It’s a respectable job, and I’m sure you can make good money…but it just doesn’t seem interesting to me. So I find it notable that the insurance industry had created some of the most memorable and innovative advertising campaigns in recent years. Think about some of of them. Geico has toed the line between amusing and stupid with its caveman/gecko spots. Allstate’s spokesman Dennis Haysbert (who I’ve always thought looks like Denzel. Anyone else?) comes across as the world’s most trustworthy man. Liberty Mutual ran a campaign emphasizing the importance of social responsibility and altruism, which featured the beautiful music of the band Hem. Progressive has scored a big hit with Flo, its enthusiastic and upbeat fictional saleswoman.

And then, we have State Farm. State Farm’s current commercials make prominent use of its jingle “Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there”, which was written by Barry Manilow in 1971 (Really? Thanks, Wikipedia!). They depict State Farm agents as always available simply by people using the jingle. The agents also have some sort of genie-like power, where they can give anyone anything they want (Can I get a hot tub?! One of my favorite commercial catchphrases in a long time). A common element of successful advertising seems to be wish fulfillment. The viewer knows that these portrayals aren’t real, but maybe there’s something better about the product being promoted. Here’s one of State Farm’s latest offerings.

First off, these guys seem so laid-back about a car theft. Why? Because the State Farm agent will take care of everything. She’ll also bring an intern when boss man comes calling (as someone who will likely need a internship in the near future, is this what I have to look forward to? Doing bitch work for my lazy/stoned superiors?). They also magically get casual Wednesdays, which are probably more casual than the typical office. And the magical ability to sass the boss with the fratty and confrontational “what?!”. This is a pretty good commercial. It’s not my favorite of State Farm’s campaign, but it’s one that I should get used to seeing endlessly in coming months.

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