• Live Oak Management

Progressive Zooms in on the Reality of Working from Home

By Kaitlyn Merritt, Account Executive


The coronavirus pandemic has forced advertisers to rethink their marketing strategies. It is no secret that the advertising and marketing industries have been undergoing a revolution in the digital age and stay-at-home orders have accelerated media consumption to newfound highs. Increased digital activity creates a multitude of new opportunities and challenges for advertisers.


In terms of opportunities, audiences are easier to identify and target than ever before, yet the challenge is that they have almost unlimited content to choose from. While the initial strategy was to interrupt them with banner ads and other strategies, now they must be engaged and entertained so they choose to view your content over everything else that is available. One company that has mastered this approach is Progressive Auto Insurance.


Progressive and its partner ad agency, Arnold WorldWide created a lighthearted and character-rich “Work From Home” ad campaign. The campaign included a series of short ads that featured well-known characters, such as Flo, living in the quarantine era. It was both sly and satirical, but also mindful of the national mood. Progressive recognizes the new reality of work-life, rather than poking fun at social distancing guidelines. It provided a much-needed sense of relief.


My favorite ad from the campaign is called “Tech Issues.” This ad shows a video conference meeting where everything that can go wrong, does go wrong. Progressive employees forget to mute their microphones, have unstable internet connections, and face other technical difficulties that depict the newfound barriers of working from home.


Additionally, as we continue to navigate the coronavirus pandemic, content creators are forced to get creative while being safe. Progressive and Arnold WorldWide quickly adjusted their production model to follow current safety guidelines. For example, actors were given iPhones and created content at home, making the production process much quicker and more authentic.


According to Progressive CMO Jeff Charney, the company is “always pushing for first-mover advantage, and [is] succeed[ing] by becoming the first ‘commercial’ improv cast to appear in a virtual video setting. The ‘funny because it’s true’ situations are [at the] top of [people’s] mind[s] right now.”


Progressive’s relatable “Work from Home” campaign has helped the auto insurance company break through the clutter of a pandemic-ridden media landscape.