What’s an NFL quarterback doing in an insurance ad? Yes, record-setting Cleveland Browns quarterback, Baker Mayfield, is using his fame to draw fans to insurance provider, Progressive, but don’t imagine that the ads you have in your head right now are the same as the ones in this campaign by Arnold Worldwide.
Those ads are light years away from Arnold’s campaign. At Home With Baker Mayfield is quirky, humorous and uses Mayfield, who is a real-life Progressive client, in a very new way. And yet importantly, they also underline the role that Progressive plays in life.
The campaign has launched to coincide with the start of the US NFL season, with 30-, 23-, 19- and 15-second spots on both national television and digital channels, and two new cuts rotating in every two weeks for the duration of the season.
Fun facts: As well as becoming a household name to sports fans across the country by breaking the single season record for the most passing touchdowns by a rookie quarterback, Mayfield’s connection to Progressive is also cemented by the fact that Progressive is one of the leading businesses in the Cleveland metro (coincidentally headquartered in Mayfield, OH.)
The athlete-as-spokesperson model is already well and truly full of examples. Arnold Worldwide took a radically different approach, one that is also different from the insurance advertising model. In fact, it’s characteristic of today’s network shows than insurance advertising. The season-long series doesn’t follow the traditional model of making a group of ads and then releasing them in a single batch. This “season within a season” episodic content campaign will unfold gradually, almost as a traditional storyline on TV would.
At Home With Baker Mayfield will provide glimpses of the relatable, mundane aspects of home ownership – from mowing the lawn to fixing plumbing issues. Even if, in this story, Baker and his wife, Emily Wilkinson,
live in a stadium. The understanding of life’s moments like these connects back to each of Progressive’s offerings. The Mayfields also join classic Progressive storylines such as that of the long-running Superstore campaign featuring Flo, of the parent-leeching Baby Man and Rebel characters; the animated talking, Box, voiced by SNL alum, Chris Parnell; the mythical half-man, half-motorcycle, Motaur, character, and the “we all become our parents” Parentamorphosis troupe.