The Real Progressive Flo.

The actress who plays the gal who waits on people in the Progressive Insurance Store is Stephanie Courtney, a member of The Groundlings improvisational theater troupe in Los Angeles. Here she is as herself (I’m guessing this video comes from a few years ago), doing a two-and-a-half minute piece that is more performance art than standup comedy. It’s amusing, and I enjoyed seeing what she looks like without her Flo makeup, and hearing what she sounds like without her Flo voice.

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8 Comments on “The Real Progressive Flo.”

  1. rovronr says:

    “I love Broadway Nick”? Inspired. I’m in love with her. Have always been. Always will be.

  2. Ted Naron says:

    Do you love her more as Flo, or as Stephanie?

    • rovronr says:

      I love her for the totality of her being, in all her guises, personnae and all her sexy knee sox and Mary Jane shoes.
      I adore her neo-Gothic deliciousness, here perky insurance assurance, her yummy funny.
      Flo, Stephanie, Dolores, Ginny, Glynnis, Maria, who cares.
      Send her to me instantly, to love and nurture me forever.
      Hope that answers your question.

  3. Ted Naron says:

    It’s interesting to me that Courtney’s “Progressive Flo” is the first iconic advertising character in a long time who belongs in the same critter-pantheon as the Keebler Elves, The Man from Glad, Snap Crackle & Pop, Mr. Whipple, and Mrs. Olsen. Okay, the Geico Gecko and the Geico Cavemen are others. One step down in iconicity are the sexy cartoon babe for esurance and the Charmin Bear Who Wipes His Ass in the Woods. But who else is doing it now? The airwaves used to crawl with critters!

    • rovronr says:

      Likeability is key. I wonder if the issue is that not very many products these days lend themselves to a likeable sale, and I also wonder if advertising creatives like the products they work on. You gotta kind of like the product a client trusted you to sell. I get the sense from the commercials I see that many creatives, as authors, tend to like themselves more than they like their products. Too many of them are the people who laugh at their own jokes. In many ways, Leo taught us to like Frosted Flakes. To like Glad bags, to like United Airlines, to like McDonald’s and to like the people who bought those products and services. Remember ‘relevance’ and ‘likeability’? Too much contemporary work is irrelevant and unlikeable. Today we have the “English Brief” and “psychographic targeting” and lots of science. And the Bear Who Wipes His Ass in the Woods. I heart Flo. She’s so darn comfy.

  4. says:

    It’s amazing how different she looks with and without makeup.

  5. Clark Farley says:

    as to (advertising) icons, consider the contrast between Flo and Rosetta Stone girl (Lesley Ann Machado)!
    Girl Next Door (zaftig version) versus Mrs. Robinson (or her daughter)
    What is interesting is the choice of image/appeal between the two, relative to what it is they are selling.
    Flo is selling a ‘necessity’ and Lesley is selling a ‘luxury’.

    Image if the two actresses switched roles, how it would so not be effective. That sex sells is not a question, the ‘directness/aggressivenes’ of the tone of the sexual come-on is very interesting.

    What can we surmise fromt this comparison?
    Lesley’s message clearl is, “Real Men improve their language skills” (no mono-lingual men need apply); while Stephanie is clearly letting us know that when we get tired of the wife and the family and responsibility there is still fun to be had (the price is repressing the impulse to laugh at the sneakers).

    Damn! these advertising guys is clever.

    (Side note: Flo is a clark and Lesley is a scott, of course!)

  6. […] The Real Progressive Flo. […]

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