there is no brand spokesperson more grating than Flo, the cherry-lipped sing-songy character who Progressive has been using for a couple of years, but she's hit a nerve.
Apparently, the people have spoken, and the people love Flo. Including people leaving comments on Progressive's YouTube page talking about how badly they want to do the hibbidy-dibbidy with Flo. Intense.
Such is the fascination with a character that has stormed into the American consciousness—against the odds of DVRs, iPads, and On Demand—in either the most annoying or endearing way possible. Reactions to Flo on YouTube range from “she’s hot” and “I want to f—- flo so bad!!!!” to “FLO PLZ GO AWAY” and “this girl is ugly and annoying and stupid and everything that is wrong with America.”
But whether you love her or hate her, you can’t ignore her. In the two years since Flo debuted as the unflappably happy sales clerk who presides over the gleaming, white-bright store that sells insurance in handy, easy-to-transport boxes—giving the impression that shopping for insurance is as simple and unfraught as a trip to Ikea—she has become the most recognizable mascot on television, the successor to the Geico gecko, Juan Valdez, and the Pillsbury dough boy.
The Daily Beast interviewed Stephanie Courtney, the comedian who plays Flo.
The first time that Courtney, who in her non-Flo life is a standup comedian and member of The Groundlings, the fabled comedy group in Los Angeles, noticed the character was catching on was when she saw a surge of Flo Halloween costumes on Facebook.
“It’s a pretty cheap costume to make—all you need is a white polo shirt, white jeans, blue Chuck Taylors, and a white apron,” Courtney said recently, sipping a soy latte at a coffee shop on Sunset Boulevard. “And then you just have to do your hair and makeup like that, and Progressive even makes—you can download your own name-tag and cut it out on paper. So it’s a nice, non-slutty Halloween costume.”
That last bit of news is probably sad for Flo's YouTube fans though. Based on their comments, they would probably love an ultra-slutty Flo Halloween costume.