Progressive's 'Thread' Shines a Light on Progress
MAYFIELD VILLAGE, Ohio--September 23, 2013: For many people, the name Progressive conjures thoughts of the company’s perky sales clerk, Flo. In its new brand extension, called The Thread, Progressive introduces consumers to the real company behind its popular, apron-clad icon.
“Flo has helped make Progressive a household name”
The first Thread ad, Everything, launches this week during primetime network premiers, including The Voice and The Big Bang Theory. It poses the question “what does an apron have to do with car insurance?” Following a series of people from diverse professions as they go about their daily jobs, the spot establishes the apron as a symbol for the hard work, pride and dedication that Progressive, and all people who make progress, have in common.
“Flo has helped make Progressive a household name,” said Glenn Renwick, Chief Executive Officer of Progressive. “She and the Superstore continue to deliver well on the value and ease messages that bring customers to Progressive. The Thread will layer on top of the Superstore messaging, telling the story of our company, and our people. Increasingly, consumers are supporting brands that share their values. We have a great story to tell, and we believe consumers who understand this story will have even greater confidence in Progressive.”
An apron may seem like an unlikely symbol for progress. But not to Progressive.
“Making progress is about continuously sweating the details and bringing an idea to life slowly, iteration after iteration,” said Jeff Charney, Chief Marketing Officer at Progressive. “It’s not glamorous, but it’s how we make things better. That dedication--to service and customer experience--is what we live here every day. It’s what the apron represents, and it’s what we’re highlighting in The Thread.”
The new ads will run concurrently with Flo and the Superstore, which is approaching its 100th spot. Progressive also is launching Apron Projects to recognize people outside of Progressive who, through their work, make progress by making things a little better. One early example the company highlights is Stephen Ritz, a New York-based educator who builds green walls that grow vegetables in urban neighborhoods. Stephen’s Green Bronx Machine educates kids while bringing healthy food options to so-called “food deserts.” Progressive will help build awareness of Stephen and many others like him, featuring their stories on a dedicated website, on social media and in their public relations outreach.
“The company we are is reflected in the company we keep,” continued Charney. “High-profile sponsorships or celebrity spokespeople just didn’t fit our message, so we’re using our own stage to highlight people like us. By shining a light on their work, we’re revealing who we are and what we value. We’re helping tell their story, which in turn helps us tell our story.”