General Question

trumi's avatar

What do you think of this Progressive commercial?

Asked by trumi (6448 points ) May 3rd, 2009

Last night I saw this commercial for the first time, and it really got me thinking. The subjects are two men that go in to Progressive Auto Insurance with the standard brunette salesperson. One of them is wearing a t-shirt with a very low key rainbow, and the other one somewhat acts the part of a stereotypical gay man (but not blatantly). They talk as though they could be either a couple or just close friends. However, there is no mention of/allusion to their sexuality, and the humor of the commercial does not come from them possibly being gay.

It appears to me that the commercial makes homosexuality a non-issue, implying it but not making it obvious. Once I looked on the internet, I found that the YouTube uploader also thought that they were a couple, and at least one other website noticed.

Did the people that made the video intend to attract an LGBTQ market? Or, is it just an attempt to be more “progressive.” Is this a step forward in marketing, foretelling a bright future where homosexuality is not only accepted but unimportant? Or am I reading into it too much? Maybe they’re not gay, or maybe the humor IS derived from their sexuality and I’m ignoring it.

What do you think?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

46 Answers

jbfletcherfan's avatar

I won’t watch ANY of the Progressive commercials. I mute them STAT. I HATE that stupid girl..“Hi, can I help you?” She got on my last nerve the first time I saw her. The one with the horns that they did after new years…I’d like to shove that thing right up her ass!

lefteh's avatar

Yeah, I think it’s pretty obvious that they’re a couple. Also, it was aired during As the World Turns…which gives you an idea of the audience they were catering toward (Luke and Noah for those of you who don’t know about the wonderful, wonderful steps forward that ATWT has made).
I love the commercial, because as you said, it makes being queer a nonissue. It’s not about them being gay, it’s about a couple shopping for car insurance just like any other couple.

Likeradar's avatar

I thought they were a couple the first time I saw it. And it made me happy… has there been other advertising that featured a homosexual couple without the commercial being blatantly about the couple? I checked the link @trumi posted, and I just don’t get the vibe from the car commercial. And the Quiznos one, well…

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

looks good to me
it’s important to do this kind of advertising

augustlan's avatar

I never even thought they were a couple… who sells their watch to their SO? But now that you mention it, I can see it. I’m all for it!

casheroo's avatar

I never thought they were a couple either, @augustlan. Why would you sell your watch to your SO for money…?
I didn’t notice the rainbow, and can’t see it on youtube. I don’t see how it implies any sexuality at all…I don’t care either way though.

cyndyh's avatar

I never thought they were a couple either. It seems like they’re two friends shopping. I never noticed the rainbow and didn’t see it on youtube until they’re closer up on the shorter guy.

Allie's avatar

I didn’t think they were a couple either. When I first saw it I thought they were friends (also because of the watch for sale thing that people mentioned above). But I guess I can see how it could be interpreted that they’re a couple shopping for car insurance. If that’s the case, then way to go Progressive.

tinyfaery's avatar

Why would two men be buying insurance together unless they were a couple? The fact that many flutherites did not notice is a good example of how gay is still invisible.

A note about Progressive. When my wife and I were shopping for new auto insurance, I went on their website and filled out my info for a quote. I did this with a few other sites as well. Progressive was the only company that had a domestic partner box to check-off in the marital status section. So it turned out that Progressive was one of the lower quotes, but there was one quote that was lower. I called the other company, and after them first telling me there was no way they could put us on a joint policy, and then putting me on hold, and then insisting that I fax them my proof of being registered as domestic partners in the state of CA, I decided to go with Progressive. When I called Progressive they asked me if I was registered in CA and then just gave me the marital rate. Our policy even states that we are married. This was before the commercial, and I appreciate that as a company they are willing to publicly announce that they think gay is normal.

I cannot tell you how much I appreciate my relationship being considered as normal and valid as any other relationship, without me having to have proof of our relationship.

Can I just get married already? Jeesh.

Allie's avatar

@tinyfaery Why would you sell your significant other your watch? And if you’re so strapped for cash that you’re selling your things, and if you share your finances, why would the other one buy your watch? I’m not saying they aren’t a gay couple, I’m saying that wasn’t my first thought when I was half watching the 30-second commercial and half reading my textbook.

casheroo's avatar

@tinyfaery I still don’t see how they’re a couple. The one guy was buying insurance for himself. I bring female friends with me to go shopping, doesn’t mean I’m a lesbian. The whole watch thing is what is keeping me from thinking they’re a couple.

TaoSan's avatar

I don’t see how these guys are necessarily gay at all. Oh the rainbow on the one guys shirt.

Well, about the rainbow, I feel like this

Cue up to 1:10 :D

figbash's avatar

When I saw this commercial I definitely did a double take and thought about the same thing!! Likeradar, it also made me happy. A few commercials later, the Chemistry.com (I think) male couple ad came on so, maybe. I think they keep it way ambiguous enough, though.

autumn43's avatar

@jbfletcherfan – LOL! Tell us how you really feel! :0)

I don’t think they are a couple for the reason Allie states. Wouldn’t matter to me if they were though.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

@allie just because the commercial did this doesn’t mean that tinyfaery and hir partner would do the same

Allie's avatar

@Simone_De_Beauvoir Uhhh, I wasn’t using “you” to refer to tinyfaery specifically. It was more of a general “you.” I don’t know tinyfaery well enough to know what she would or wouldn’t do.

cyndyh's avatar

@tinyfaery: Yeah, I do shop with friends. If I’m buying insurance with my husband “we” buy insurance for “us”. And I’ve never sold him my watch (or anything else for that matter) when I want some cash. :^> If they were a couple and people didn’t notice why is it necessarily a bad thing?

I think it is progressive when companies recognize significant others. At least there are some more options these days, but not enough. There are a few states where you can go to get married now. There are companies that have started to be more aware and accepting in their policies.

Years ago, before we were married, my husband and I went through this (health insurance in our case) at the same time as another couple. He worked with one member of this couple. We tried like hell to find an insurance company that would work with a small company, cover some people’s specific pre-existing conditions, and accept significant others the same as married couples. At the time we were able to find two out of three of these in some companies, but not all three. You shouldn’t have to choose like that.

In the end, we had the option to get get married. They didn’t then. And there are still people who manage to do the mental gymnastics to call gay rights “special rights”. Say what?

lefteh's avatar

“Nice savingsth!”
Gimme a break. They’re here and they’re queer.

TaoSan's avatar

great, I got queer insurance LOL

cyndyh's avatar

@TaoSan : Does that insure that you remain queer or that you don’t? lol

TaoSan's avatar

@cyndyh

LOL, no clue, gotta check my policy again…

augustlan's avatar

@trumi That is awesome! Love the pictures, too.

cyndyh's avatar

@TaoSan : Yeah that might matter to your SO one way or the other. :^>

TaoSan's avatar

@cyndyh

I doubt I’d need insurance there LOL I’m a lady’s man through and through…

cyndyh's avatar

But you love chip? :^>

TaoSan's avatar

Chip is the burrito eating bear. EVERYONE must love Chip the burrito eating bear!

Allie's avatar

Chip is the burrito loving bear in my avatar. The girl bear is his girlfriend, Becky.

ubersiren's avatar

I’ve seen a lot (maybe 3) of commercials with gay couples on Bravo. There was one with a lesbian couple on a fake game show… I think it was Priceline or Expedia or something. Also, the one you linked was on there.

lefteh's avatar

Seeing something gay on Bravo is like seeing something conservative on Fox News.

cyndyh's avatar

Ha! My husband and I call Bravo the “Gay People Drinking Network” while Fox is the “Hicks Smoking Network”. If you want to see this in action watch any of the reality shows on each. I’d much rather watch gay people drink (and talking) than hicks smoking (and talking). :^>

And I’ve never heard of Chip, sorry. But I do love a good burrito.

lefteh's avatar

There are few things more entertaining than watching gay people drink.
Just ask anybody who has had the (mis)fortune of seeing me after midnight on a Friday.

cyndyh's avatar

Ha! I was specifically thinking about how fun it is to watch Top Chef, but I’d guess it’d be fun to knock back a few with you on a Friday night, too. :^>

ubersiren's avatar

Yeah, that was kind of my point.

galileogirl's avatar

Their sexuality never crossed my mind but I did think stereotypical guys. Guy 1 had to pawn his watch and guy 2 won’t let him buy it back. See typicaL guy, not typical. I didn’t get any visual clues because I don. watch commercials, just listen to them.

Mitbak's avatar

When this first aired, a friend called me to point out the “gay” angle. I’m the actor wearing the watch. Seriously. And I can say that neither the script nor the director called for any suggestion of a homosexual relationship between these two characters. Of course, it’s pretty rare that any commercial turns out like it was first imagined or scripted. Regardless, I think it’d be awesome if this spot played any part in further desensitizing the intolerant among us.

augustlan's avatar

@Mitbak Welcome to Fluther! One of our founders is also an actor. :)

Mitbak's avatar

Thanks! This thread popped up when my friend googled the topic, and I couldn’t not join and comment :^]

apop51's avatar

When I first saw it, the very first thing I thought of is this. What two guys would go into a place of business to buy car insurance? It just doesn’t happen in the straight world. They are definitely fudgepackers, but I can tolerate it. The commercials that I CANNOT tolerate are freecreditreport dot com with the fake singer and the esurance commercials, where they are stuck on “drawn” and “animated” and it’s totally stupid. I would NEVER buy any of these products. Freecreditreport or freetriplereport are total ripoffs. They just want your credit card and to bill you every month for life. Only idiots would buy these things.

Noel_S_Leitmotiv's avatar

So if two men are together someplace they’re gay?

lefteh's avatar

@Noel_S_Leitmotiv That ambiguity is what makes me love this commercial. They’re certainly portrayed in a way that allows for the possibility of them being together. It also allows for the possibility that they’re not. I think the point that they are making (rather well) is: who cares?

Noel_S_Leitmotiv's avatar

I think selling ones watch to ones significant other isnt good policy.

I would totally do that girl in the ads, i get the feeling shes fun in bed.

cajunlady's avatar

I Hate this commercial. it the guys are gay or not..matters little to me…I block the commercial so quick I dont even know what she is selling (well really I do)
But surely this gilr is white is not that ugly..and why…when we pay big bucks to WATCH TV….that they can cram this down our throat>
I just dont get it but glad I found this site so I can “vent”
I even went so far as to call the company….their reply was “oh we didnt mean to offend you” GO FIGURE

trumi's avatar

I know you’re never coming back because you’re a troll, but wtf is your point? For once a commercial has a woman on it in real clothing that isn’t thrusting her cleavage at you and you’re upset? Or are you mad at commercials in general? In that case, I advise you to turn your TV off every once in a while.

Austinlad's avatar

I hate all the Progressive commercials. I mute these commercials or switch to another channel the second one comes on..The woman is so annoying to me—trying to be so cutsey and funny. The irony is, I had an experience with Progressive once and was extremely impressed with them. But the commercials are a real turn-off.

plethora's avatar

How could their queerocity be missed? Appeared blatant to me.

Answer this question

Login

or

Join

to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
or
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther