Progressive Unleashes a Monster Made of Sticky Notes

This one's pretty scary ... on paper

Could there be any better brand ambassador than a big ol' monster made of sticky notes symbolizing the to-do lists of small business owners?

The answer's yes, of course. But that didn't stop Progressive Insurance and agency Arnold Worldwide from unleashing such a beast. The creature's not frightening (insert your own Flo and Jamie joke here). But it's well-realized and darn memorable in a :40 breaking today.

Surly yet strangely appealing, it's like something from waaay back on Lost in Space, vintage Dr. Who or Sid & Mart Krofft. It can claim Ikea's stuffy whatsit and Skittles' piñata man as kindred spirits.

Director Bjorn Ruhmann delivers on his rep as a wizard of weird, working in the style that produced notable oddities for Volkswagen, Mailchimp and Skittles (alas, not the piñata).

"What really elevates our latest work for Progressive is just how effectively our giant sticky note blob embodies what it's like to have a runaway to-do list as a small business owner," says Arnold creative chief Sean McBride. "It's omnipresent, it's relentless, but there's no malice. The list is just there—impossible to ignore, impossible to avoid–a big, sticky-note-covered elephant in the food truck."

This marks the second "character" intro of 2023 for Progressive and Arnold, following TV Dad from January. That one's a series, but it's unclear if they'll stick with the monstrous notes concept long term.

"It was helpful for us to first set ground rules on what it should be—feel cumbersome and overwhelming yet still endearing," recalls Arnold SVP/GCD Donnell Johnson. "The whole process took about two weeks. The suit itself is a combination of felt, cloth and real stickies, and it's filled by a costume-character-actor with improv experience."

"Working with an enormous costume, where the talent can barely see outside of it, is like shooting with animals or babies—everything takes longer than you expect," Johnson says. "Simple actions like slapping a sticky note on something sometimes took three, four or 11 tries to get right. That made for a long day at a parking lot in Pasadena."


Agency: Arnold Worldwide
Chief Creative Officer: Sean McBride
SVP/GCD: Donnell Johnson

VP/CD: Sara Goldsmith
Sr. AD: Diana Friedman

Sr. Copywriter: Evan Hohenwarter 
SVP/Producer: Sean Vernaglia 

Assistant Producer: Maria Torres 

Chief Client Officer: Val Bettini 
Marketing Director: Crissy Cavallaro 
EVP/Brand Strategy Director: Catherine Sheehan 

Director, Brand Strategy: Kylee Donovan 
SVP/Director of Business Affairs: Camara Price 
VP/Director of Project Management: Priscilla Patterson 

Production Company: Smuggler 
Director: Björn Rühmann 
Co-Founder: Patrick Milling-Smith  
Co-Founder: Brian Carmody  
Managing Director: Sue Yeon Ahn  
Executive Producer: Allison Kunzman  
Chief Operating Officer: Andrew Colón  
Head of Production: Alex Hughes  
Producer: Luigi Rossi 
Post EFX 
Cosmo Street 
Head of Production: Anne Lai 
Editor: Aaron Langley 

Zero VFX 
Executive Producer: Jack Swanson 

Soundtrack Boston 
Sound Design & Mix: Mike Secher 

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