Advertising Magic

Raymond Williams talks about how the art of advertising has changed so dratically over time. In todays world, advertisements are a lot more then just displaying your product. Advertisements, specifically commercials, have evolved into complex ways to persuade a consumer to not only buy the produt, but to buy into how a brand presents itself. “Advertising has developed from the simple announcements of shopkeepers and the persuasive arts of a few marginal dealers into a major part of capitalist business organization.” (Williams 8). The quote from Williams text on advertising shows how the art has transformed, and how it has become such an integral part of todays commercial world.

Progressive Insurance is known to have recognizable commercials. The key components that make their commercials recognizable are humor, and recognition. The commercials themselves usually make a joke, or or comical, and they most often feature “Flo” a character that they have created to make their commercials memorable.

This commercial works for many different reasons. First of all Flo is in the scene so there is the aspect of recognition. Second, its funny; The women are approached by many men looking to flirt with them, but one of the women scares them all away by reciting “boring” insurance information at them. This is effective because they are making a joke, and telling you how much you could save on insurance. This would be perfect example of both sophisticated and humorous advertising.

This commercial is also sophisticated and humorous. The commercial shows Flo, the “progressive icon” talking with that would appear to be big foot. They use this conversation to relay information about what they offer from an insurance standpoint, while maintaining the humor that comes from bigfoot. Even more humor is added at the end when she calls him Bigfoot and he gets offended and says his name is Darryl.


Williams, Raymond. “Advertising: the Magic System.”

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