Progressive – an Ad Campaign That Works!

OK – so I’ve blasted the E*Trade babies because, although attention-generating, they don’t seem to be achieving results. But here’s an example of a campaign that is clever, memorable – and working!

The Progressive insurance ads which feature Flo, a bubbly, service-oriented and very effective spokesperson may be behind a bump in market share for the fourth-largest auto insurer in the country. A recent BusinessWeek article notes that shares of Progressive jumped 3.7% on Mar. 26 – the stock’s biggest one-day gain since Sept. 28. Certainly, there’s more behind the increase than the ads, but I do think these ads are a good example of what to do with a campaign.

Why do they work so well? Because they combine both a consistent and attention-getting theme with pertinent product information. Viewers notice the spots, they watch the spots and through their viewing they learn something about the product – and the things they learn are key selling points that serve to differentiate Progressive from its competitors. Exactly what good advertising is supposed to do.

Memorable’s nice – but it’s not enough. To be effective, your advertising needs to:

– Capture the attention of a specific target audience

– Provide key messages designed to impact some attitude or behavior on the part of that audience

– Differentiate your product/service from the competition

Progressive’s ads do this so viewers have a solid takeaway message tied directly to the service. If all you’ve got is cute and clever, you haven’t got enough. If you can combine cute and clever with meaningful, takeaway messages tied directly to your product/service attributes *and* which distinguish you from competitors.. well, then, you’ve got it all!

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