Since I was a kid, I’ve loved humorous commercials and my current favorite is Progressive insurance’s “Janice Bought a House.” Interestingly, it occurred to me when thinking about my all time fav commercials that several top insurance companies use comedy to sell their services on television. For instance, Geico, Progressive, and Allstate — not the “good hands” guy but the mayhem man— all use humorous television ads to great effect. Since insurance is purchased to cover bad happenings, such as disaster, disease, accidents, theft, destruction, and/or death, I guess a little levity is needed to capture and hold people’s attention on this sort of depressing topic.
I find Progressive’s commercial featuring its usual main character, Flo, and her “sister” Janice to be both funny and unforgettable; for an insurance company’s television ad, that’s a winning combination!
What really makes this particular TV ad hilarious is its spot-on parody of our social-media-obsessed generation. Janice is not listening to Flo tell her about the need to purchase home insurance because she’s too busy taking selfies and posting on her cell phone, presumably fashioning an online image of herself that doesn’t quite match her reality.
This commercial works because almost everyone from youth to older audiences can relate to its cultural symbolism and laugh at the underlying joke about social media personalities. This commercial is light, amusing and memorable and quite possibly may put many young and older people alike in the frame of mind to think about home insurance and what Progressive has to offer. So Janice’s role as a social media influencer is borne out in an ironic way in this commercial. It’s all quite witty on Progressive’s part, I’d say.