This article critically analyzes the Progressive insurance campaign featuring the spokescharacter Flo, who since 2008 has appeared in over 100 television commercials and a variety of print, radio, and web-based advertising and promotions. The article argues that the campaign exemplifies a version of commodity fetishism, nostalgically representing retail spaces and workers in ways that mask the realities of reduced-labor businesses in the digital, neoliberal, and (post)recession era. Its construction of Flo as an “always available,” flexible, and branded laborer blurs distinctions between modern workers’ private and work life, and is a particularly gendered portrayal that sometimes sexualizes the character while at work. This marketing strategy is also used by other modern brands.
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