Progressive Insurance’s “Dr. Rick” commercial series is hilarious. Well, until you realize you’re the one they’re laughing at.
And the new ad taking aim at some people’s travel habits hits pretty hard.
Progressive’s “Dr. Rick” Character
First of all, Progressive’s ad agency (or whoever came up with their ads) is amazing. The Emily and Baker Mayfield commercials were great (and I’m not even a Browns fan!). And the “Dr. Rick” spots are very funny.
“Dr. Rick” (played by the hilarious Bill Glass) is a life coach. The shtick is that when some people turn into their parents when becoming homeowners. And with that parent-a-morphosis come all sorts of habits: having speakerphone conversations in public, trying to talk shop with the plumber fixing your sink, and posting signs with cutesy sayings all over your house.
But a new spot, “Airport,” convinced me that I turned into my parents. Watch the ad below — and then I’ll explain why and how I’ve become my dear old Dad.
Paper “Tickets” (or Boarding Passes?)
Dr. Rick asks his “patients” to show their tickets. Indeed, they produce what look like old-school paper tickets — much to his chagrin. But paper tickets pretty much disappeared more than ten years ago. So I assume Dr. Rick is taking aim at those of us who still regularly use paper boarding passes.
Look, I love technology and spend most of my days utilizing a laptop, tablet, and cell phone. But I love paper boarding passes. Why?
- I get lots of texts, emails, and social media messages on my phone. I don’t want any of those popping up when trying to scan a boarding pass at the gate.
- Paper boarding passes are good to hang on to until your elite and redeemable miles credit to your frequent flyer account. These can become valuable receipts, if necessary.
- They also are helpful for gate agents when you’re trying to score a bump. As I wrote, “…boarding passes give agents plenty of helpful information, such as your name, PNR/confirmation number, and seat number. It speeds things along when/if they need to find and/or rebook you.”
- Have access to an airport lounge allowing admission even after you’ve arrived at your final destination? (i.e. Delta Sky Clubs) Your electronic boarding passes generally disappear from the airline app once you land. You could be SOL. (An alternative is to take a screenshot before this happens.) But, again, paper is more convenient here.
Points of Interest
“We’re not gonna point out our houses, landmarks, or major highways during takeoff,” Dr. Rick instructs his patients.
Dr. Rick, you really know how to hurt a guy.
Flying always amazes me. Whether it’s starting a vacation, the sixth flight of a mileage run, or leaving for a business trip (RIP), I always love looking out a plane’s window and taking in the sites.
Yes, I sometimes look for my old house in North Hollywood, California, when I take off from Burbank. And, yes, I tell my wife I’m searching for the place. Every. Single. Time.
And flying into or out of New York or Las Vegas — especially at night — is a treat. The sites are so fun to see. “Look! There’s Bellagio!” “Hey, I see the Empire State Building!” That’s totally fine with me.
Two of Dr. Rick’s patients are chatting in an airport convenience store. One says to the other, “Don’t buy anything. I packed so many delicious snacks.”
Dr. Rick confiscates her homemade goodies and utters a simple, “Nope.”
I’ve been known to pack a sandwich and some chips before a long day of flying (if I know or suspect I won’t be sitting in first class). Why? I don’t want to stand in line at an airport shop or restaurant — and then pay through the nose for a sandwich or snack.
One would think Dr. Rick would want his patients to save some money. Especially if they do well with Progressive, AmIRight?
I love Progressive’s ads — and the Dr. Rick series is very funny.
I’m joking (kind of 😉 ) about being a “target” of the “Airport” ad. What do you think? Are you like me with your airport and travel habits? Or should I see if my insurance plan covers visits to Dr. Rick’s office? 🙂
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That is very funny Chris! I actually did LOL…..at myself of course.
One thing about the electronic boarding passes. If you out then into your electronic wallet (Apple , Google, etc) they typically stay there until you delete them. Currently have flights from last several months in there I just remembered about.
Boarding passes don’t automatically disappear from your iPhone Wallet app.
I must be a dinosaur… I believe in redundancy. I print up my boarding pass, store it in my phone and I get a hard copy at the airport. I keep them in a paper file. I don’t destroy my copies until my points and MQM’s have credited on my acct, stable , for a month or TWO( I’ve seen them disappear in the past and had to send in copies of my boarding passes to get them re-credited weeks after the flight…) I’ve also had my phone go inop just as I was ready to scan it for boarding…. Needless to say… I like paper!! ….Oh, and yesterday I was on the lookout for the Statue of Liberty and the New York skyline… I wanted to take a picture of it in the distance as We Took off…It would be one of the highlight of our trip…. I always look out the window during takeoff and landing, flying isn’t just transportation. To me, every flight is an all around adventure . (… most times, good )
I’ve been in a security line where the electronic boarding pass scanner has broken. He’s who didn’t have to go back to the ticket counter????? 😉
Son, (I’m Chris’s father), I think it all skipped a generation; you’ve turned into your grandfather. I always use my phone app for checking in, going through TSA, and boarding. Though I have not had an experience like J. Kramer where the TSA scanner broke down. Perhaps if I had…
I disagree however, with Dr. Rick’s ban on pre-purchased snacks. Show me someone who picks up a bunch of items at the airport gift shop and I’ll show you a person who’s making minimum payments on their credit cards.
I think Dr. Rick forgot one: “How many of you came to the airport 3 1/2 hours before your domestic flight of 40 minutes?”
Lounges ain’t gonna visit themselves, Dad.
That was hilarious and I definitely recognize myself, not so much with the snacks, but with my grocery bags near my backpack loaded with over-the-counter medicines, most which I have to dump because they expire unused. I’m seeking help in that department. The Mayfield’s commercials were great too.
Also, I don’t think I stand alone in thinking this, but after 20 years any progressive commercial NOT featuring Flo and her crew is automatically a +10 in my book.
Thanks for being that guy at the jetway door who can’t get his phone to scan then is trying to swipe for all of the boarding passes for his 6-person family…..which also won’t scan. Its quite possibly the most useless nugget of technology created.
I always have paper tix as a backup since my iphone only stayes charged for about a 1/2 hour!! They especially have come in handy when flying international so we could get on other flights when the ones in our hands had been cancelled or we were stuck elsewhere and missed the flights///
Recently, I was flying out of LAS on a ULCC (Frontier, to be specific…it was my first time and the fare was just too good to pass up- even with the add ons). I checked-in, did the baggage drop, and proceeded to Security. After standing in line for security (maybe 20 minutes), I made it to the front, looked down and noticed my boarding pass had disappeared. “No problem”, I thought, I’ll just recall it through the website. The website said there was no record of that record locator. Okay…so, I’ll use the kiosk at the start of the security line to get a paper ticket. Tried it- once again, the system said there was no record (I tried record locator, last name & flight, and every other possibility). So, I ended up having to back to ticketing/baggage drop and essentially do the whole production over again. Luckily, I arrived early and ultimately made my flight. My lesson….always have a paper back-up (and don’t fly Frontier).
Being a travel geek and being a travel ancient are different, even when they’ve got lots of superficial overlap. I can guarantee you that a theoretical person who matches this ad for real would think MRs and such are absurd, for one, and our plane facts are actually real.
I keep paper boarding passes much like I keep ticket stubs, they help me remember the flights I’ve taken
Do the people who LOL at this commercial think of themselves as soooo cool and world travelers? I think this is all silly and rude. I get a paper ticket because I want one – no other reason needed and nobody’s business. I take my snacks because I like fruit, not junk food. And if I did, I certainly wouldn’t pay airport prices. And I look out the window for the entire trip. I love the aerial views and have no desire to look at the back of a seat. Or to see a silly movie when there is interesting earth outside .And parents aren’t always laughable because they do things differently. People who think they are beyond cool are hilarious. Live and let live. Don’t be so judgemental.
Why doesn’t Dr Rick want them to pack snacks? I really want to know why?
I find the whole series of Progressive commercials that generally demean parents and elderly a bit repulsive. They leave me with a negative feeling about Progressive and certainly don’t entice me to consider their products…. quite the opposite. Many of us elderly are very progressive with new technology, new ideas and new ways of looking at and doing things.
Yeah, Dr. Rick has kind of turned into a condescending jerk. It’s gone from funny to mean.
My husband and I love these commercials for exactly the reason that we do the majority of these things and love to laugh about it.
Who does NOT see someone with blue hair now and say, “Bahloo” under our breath?