[April 29, 2021] Progressive Insurance has been entertaining us with its commercials for years, and I want to highlight one of my favorites. Why? The commercial has a message hidden within a message; and it’s an important message. The one I like best is titled ‘Dr. Rick Methods, No Fussin No Cussin No Backtalkin,’ where Dr. Rick (a character) teaches people not to become their parents.
The commercial is on YouTube and can be found here (see link). I recommend you watch it; only 46 seconds long. At the 26-second mark, we see Dr. Rick taking a sign away from a lady who thinks “signs” are needed to express her values. Dr. Rick doesn’t think so and throws the sign in the trash.
Yes, there is a real sign that reads, “House Rules: No Fussin, No Cussin, No Backtalkin” which can be found on Etsy.com. Go there and read about the sign. At the time of this publication, the sign costs $24.95 plus shipping. Gosh, a real deal. My advice is don’t get the sign. Maybe you don’t want to be like your parents.
On its face, Dr. Rick is telling us that there are parts of our parents’ lives that we do not want to be like (such as having signs or something more sinister). Most of us may have even promised ourselves that we do not want to be like our parents because we see them as old, boring, and less valuable to society. Who wants to be old? Nobody.
What is the hidden message embedded inside this engaging commercial? You will be like your parents; it’s only a matter of time. Your tastes in music and art, household duties, preferred jobs, etc., will stagnate over time and be fixed in your mind. Interestingly, those same tastes will not be that different from your parents.
Why is this important? Psychologists are saying that much of this is part of changing brain chemistry. Leaders should know this and understand that people are different for both cultural and biological reasons. We can affect the former but have little impact on the latter.
Here is the good news! You will be like your parents, whether you want to or not. At least make it the best parts. I like this commercial.