Home  › Social › Social Media
progressive

Progressive's 'Flo' Gets More Social Game

  |  March 23, 2012   |  Comments

Brand character leads "Sims Social" effort on Facebook and other initiatives.

TV viewers have gotten to know Progressive Insurance's perky fictional spokesperson, "Flo," since her 2008 commercial debut. But many don't realize she's become a social media juggernaut during the past two years, highlighted by her appearances this month as a branded integration in the Facebook game "The Sims Social" and in an animated YouTube video.

For The Sims Social, an Electronics Arts (EA) game where players develop so-called virtual life skills, Flo appears as an avatar and accomplishes tasks like cooking tacos. During the course of the game, other players can overcome various challenges - or "quests" in the game's terminology - before earning a branded Progressive unicorn ornament.

"Flo loves unicorns," said Susan Rouser, Progressive's social media manager, pointing out the character's references to the mythical beasts in her company's TV spots. "It's the very first branded 'quest' EA has done in the Sims Social game."

progressiveThe YouTube effort - which includes user-generated interaction - launched Wednesday with a three-minute music video dubbed "The Best Day Ever." J.J. Sedelmaier, the animator behind MTV's "Beavis & Butthead," led the project.

In the video, an animated version of Flo appears with another mainstay brand character, "Jimmy," as they sing and leisurely navigate their way through a fantasy-laden afternoon. Consumers are encouraged to upload photos relating to the "Best Day Ever" theme at a dedicated site and post them to Facebook and Twitter.

The video will be supported by an integrated digital campaign, Rouser said, probably including Facebook ads.  

Wanted to clarify that people can upload photos, post on Facebook, and Tweet, but they cannot create their own video

Flo's Facebook Page Dramatically Outgrows Brand's 

Progressive doesn't use Flo in social media efforts only because she appears in its TV commercials. The character is a Facebook dynamo, accruing 3.5 million likes/fans. By comparison, the brand's page counts just 43,000 among its Facebook legion.

Rouser said her company schedules specific posts for both pages' audiences, while cross-pollinating promotions and messaging when appropriate. What's more, a fan in Oklahoma - inspired by Progressive's TV spots - founded Flo's page before the brand took the reins in 2010.

"He posted the quips from Flo that he thought were funny," Rouser said. "And he built up a community of his own... It got up to 500,000 fans completely organically before we took it on."

ClickZ Live Chicago Join the Industry's Leading eCommerce & Direct Marketing Experts in Chicago
ClickZ Live Chicago (Nov 3-6) will deliver over 50 sessions across 4 days and 10 individual tracks, including Data-Driven Marketing, Social, Mobile, Display, Search and Email. Check out the full agenda and register by Friday, Oct 3 to take advantage of Early Bird Rates!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Christopher Heine

Christopher Heine was a senior writer for ClickZ through June 2012. He covered social media, sports/entertainment marketing, retail, and more. Heine's work has also appeared via Mashable, Brandweek, DM News, MarketingSherpa, and other tech- and ad-centric publications. USA Today, Bloomberg Radio, and The Los Angeles Times have cited him as an expert journalist.

COMMENTSCommenting policy

comments powered by Disqus

ClickZ Today is our #1 newsletter.
Get a daily dose of digital marketing.

COMMENTS

UPCOMING EVENTS

Featured White Papers

IBM: Social Analytics - The Science Behind Social Media Marketing

IBM Social Analytics: The Science Behind Social Media Marketing
80% of internet users say they prefer to connect with brands via Facebook. 65% of social media users say they use it to learn more about brands, products and services. Learn about how to find more about customers' attitudes, preferences and buying habits from what they say on social media channels.

An Introduction to Marketing Attribution: Selecting the Right Model for Search, Display & Social Advertising

An Introduction to Marketing Attribution: Selecting the Right Model for Search, Display & Social Advertising
If you're considering implementing a marketing attribution model to measure and optimize your programs, this paper is a great introduction. It also includes real-life tips from marketers who have successfully implemented attribution in their organizations.

Jobs

    • Internet Marketing Campaign Manager
      Internet Marketing Campaign Manager (Straight North, LLC) - Downers GroveWe are looking for a talented Internet Marketing Campaign Manager...
    • Internet Marketing Specialist
      Internet Marketing Specialist (InteractRV) - DallasInternet Marketing Specialist InteractRV - Anywhere Telecommute, USA SEM | SEO | Content Creator...
    • Tier 1 Support Specialist
      Tier 1 Support Specialist (Agora Inc.) - BaltimoreThis position requires a highly motivated and multifaceted individual to contribute to and be...