Year 3 is “the greatest” and “the best” yet for Progressive’s advertising campaign with Baker Mayfield


Jeff Charney, to the surprise of some of his colleagues, helped a Boston company he worked in land Larry Bird for an advertising campaign in the mid-1980s.

It was quite an accomplishment for a young college graduate.

Bird, who didn’t seem very keen to speak in the commercial, was asked to take 26 shots for a campaign whose slogan was “quality starts with the fundamentals”.

The big Boston Celtics, according to Charney, said, “Hey kid, if I hit all 26 hits in a row so you don’t have to edit, can I go?”

Charney and his team took the bet, and Bird – on a second double down or nothing – didn’t miss.

“He literally dropped the microphone and walked away,” Charney said.

Charney, now in his 11th year as Marketing Director of Progressive, learned a valuable lesson that day.

“Since then I’ve said, ‘I have to have an insurance policy. I have to make sure that these people can improvise, that these people will cover me.’ “

Charney has made a name for himself in insurance marketing, first as Marketing Director at Aflac, then at Progressive, where he oversees what he calls a “network” of characters that includes the long-time star. date Flo (played by Stephanie Courtney) and a more recent phenomenon, Dr. Rick (played by Bill Glass).

Baker Mayfield, unlike many of his progressive business counterparts, did not hone his acting skills by doing improv comedy. But the 26-year-old Cleveland Browns quarterback, like everyone else in the insurance giant’s marketing machine, is quick.

For Charney, the first pick in the 2018 NFL Draft was a far different bet than his former employer had made with Bird over 35 years earlier.

“Baker, we took a bet,” said the progressive CMO of the quarterback, who was chosen after the insurer subjected the 2017 Heisman Trophy winner to a “creative combination” at his Mayfield campus. Town.

More than two years later, Progressive is delighted with its choice.

“At Home with Baker Mayfield,” a campaign built around the quarterback and his wife, Emily, living owner moments – only “home” is FirstEnergy Stadium – kicked off its third season earlier this month – here, coinciding, as usual, with the NFL kickoff.

Charney said it was the “biggest” and best year to date, comparing “At Home” with popular shows that hit their stride in Year 3, once the characters were established and the public became hungry for more.


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