Who is Flo the Progressive Auto Insurance Girl?
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UPDATED: May 20, 2019
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These days, it’s difficult to turn on the TV or surf the Internet without running into Flo, the Progressive Auto Insurance Girl.
An unfailingly perky and eager-to-please Progressive Insurance cashier, Flo doles out discounts and helpful information to prospective auto insurance customers with refreshing honesty and a quirky sense of humor that has turned her ad campaign into one of the United States’ most recognizable.
The “Flo” campaign was created for Progressive Insurance in 2008 by Boston ad agency Arnold Worldwide, and the campaign itself is the brainchild of art director Steve Reepmeyer and copywriter John Park.
With her big, fifties-style hairdo and bright red lipstick, Flo’s energy and enthusiasm light up a stark white set as she engages in charming exchanges with potential Progressive Insurance customers.
To date, she has starred in more than 52 different Progressive Insurance commercials, “Flo” told the New York Times.
A New Icon? Flo’s Growing Popularity
When she was introduced in 2008, Flo the Progressive Auto Insurance Girl was just another cute insurance company gimmick that was part of a growing industry trend toward humorous car insurance ads.
The Geico Gecko arrived on the scene in 1999, followed by the Aflac Duck in 2000 and the Geico Caveman in 2004. However, since Progressive introduced her in 2008, Flo has become a runaway hit on the Internet.
According to the Boston Herald, Flo is quickly becoming an advertising icon.
As of February 2011, Flo the Progressive Auto Insurance Girl had more than two million fans on Facebook, as well as her own “I’m dressing up as Flo for Halloween” Facebook community group.
Also in 2011, Flo was voted the number one advertising icon in America by readers of Entertainment Weekly. To accomplish this feat, Flo beat out classic icons like the Pillsbury Doughboy, as well as hot new entrants like the Old Spice Guy.
Still not convinced that Flo is an offbeat hit? According to Playstation’s blog, the game ModNation Racers includes a downloadable “Flo” character with her very own Progressive Insurance kart.
The Boston Herald reported that “Flo the Progressive Auto Insurance Girl” has been a popular Halloween costume during the past few years. Some websites even report that a “Flo” bobblehead doll is in the works.
Want to Dress Like Flo?
In an interview with People magazine, the “Flo” actress said that her hair and makeup for the commercials take about two hours to complete, but if you want to dress like Flo, it’s easy, according to the Progressive Insurance website.
Flo wears Lady Bug lipstick by MAC, a navy blue headband, a watch with a thin brown band, white pants and Navy Chuck Taylor All-Star shoes. You can even download a PDF version of Flo’s “I Love Insurance” button and “Tricked-Out” nametag on Progressive’s website.
To recreate Flo’s apron, just download the Progressive insurance logo from Progressive’s website in JPEG format and have it screen-printed onto a white apron.
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The “Real” Flo: Meet Stephanie Courtney
So who is really under all of that hair, makeup and enthusiasm for car insurance? The actress who plays “Flo” is named Stephanie Courtney, and she says that nobody is really that perky.
“Nobody” would seem to include her, but she does mention that the “Flo” character reminds her of her Mom when she’s in a great mood.
Stephanie Courtney was born in Stony Point, New York, on February 8, 1970. She graduated from North Rockland High School, and then attended Binghampton University in Vestal, New York, where she majored in Criminology and graduated in 1992.
Stephanie Courtney is currently based in Los Angeles, where she performs improv and sketch comedy as a member at the Groundling Theater.
This theater has served as a proving ground for many famous comic actors, including Lisa Kudrow, Will Farrell, Kathy Griffin, Cheri Oteri, Chris Kattan, and Kristin Wiig.
On November 25th, 2008, Stephanie Courtney wed Scott Kolanach, who is the lighting director at the Groundling Theater.
Although Courtney does not currently have any children of her own, she loves spending time with her nephews, McCabe, Atticus and Raif.
Stephanie’s sister, Jennifer Courtney, is also an actress who has appeared in TV shows like Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Jack and Jill, Law and Order and Dexter.
Stephanie Courtney’s Career
After her graduation from New York City’s Neighborhood Playhouse, Stephanie Courtney moved to Los Angeles and began performing standup. In addition to her work with the Groundling Theater, Courtney has been invited to perform at the Aspen Comedy Festival two times.
Besides her work in comedy and her role as “Flo” in the Progressive Insurance commercials, Stephanie Courtney is also active in television and film.
Most recently, she appeared in Ray Romano and Mike Royce’s TV series, “Men of a Certain Age,” and Courtney also made an appearance on the show “House, M.D.” in the role of Claire in 2010.
Also in 2010, she appeared on the TV show “Sons of Tucson” as Denise, and portrayed one of Jay Leno’s family members on his show. In “Fred: The Movie,” a made-for-TV teen movie, Courtney played the role of Kevin’s Mom.
In 2009, Stephanie Courtney was cast as Karen Balsac in a short called “Coco Lipshitz: Behind the Laughter,” and as Beth in the TV series “United States of Tara.”
On the comedy series Atom TV, Courtney appeared in two episodes as part of the segment “Face to Bush,” and she portrayed a character called Debbie Topps in the TV show “Back on Topps,” which aired from 2008 to 2009.
On the 2008 series “Kath and Kim,” Stephanie Courtney played Ruth, and in one of her larger TV roles, she appeared on “Mad Men” as Marge.
Does Flo have the best car insurance rates?
Flo is quirky, fun and a great hit for Progressive Auto Insurance but when it comes to auto insurance rates you need to shop around.
No matter how cute or funny a spokesperson is choosing a car insurance company needs to be based on the best coverage you need.
Progressive is a highly competitive company and they may very well have some of the best car insurance rates around but before choosing an insurer always compare at least a handful of providers.
It’s not personal Flo – We still love you! Use our FREE quote tool to compare auto insurance rates today!