It turns out the beloved Flo wasn’t Progressive’s first choice for a brand spokesperson, Ad Age reports.
Rather, the car insurance provider originally wrote scripts for … a talking (and winking) box.
Said box, voiced by Chris Parnell, now stars in a 60-second spot by Arnold Worldwide, launching us into a dystopic world of what might have been.
Flo, who’s starred in more than 80 ads since 2008 and has almost 4.8 million Facebook fans, isn’t going anywhere; but Progressive CMO Jeff Charney explained, “she’s got to be relatable and a friend first. She can’t be hawking or … a shill.”
The box can and is. His spot is twice the length of Flo’s average, and he crams in various Progressive messages, punctuated by snarky (and borderline creepy) quips to a personal trainer, masseuse, and tailor. That’s probably why he’s taking over the late night slot.
Here’s why we think the box — who is on a test run to be a Progressive regular — is creepy. He actually says …
To his tailor: “Yeah, I’m kind of a big deal.”
To his trainer: “You want my number, don’t you?”
To viewers: “Thirsty? Because I have a six-pack right here.”
To his masseuse: “Oh Svetlana, that’s so good.”
To himself: “Down the hiz-atch.”
Watch the ad below: