No Fussin, No Cussin, No Backtalkin

By | April 30, 2021

[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  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.

Author: Douglas R. Satterfield

Hello. I'm Doug and I provide at least one article every day on some leadership topic. I welcome comments and also guests who would like to write an article. Thanks for reading my blog.

22 thoughts on “No Fussin, No Cussin, No Backtalkin

  1. Bob from Joisey

    Ok. But WHO is the woman saying, No Fussin, no cusin and no backtalkin?

  2. Jeffrey D Thune

    I’m not one to pay attention to commercials unless they provide some level of entertainment value and humor. I find this commercial and it’s approach absolutely captivating. It still makes me laugh even after having seen it many times. Kudos to it’s creators.

  3. Drew Dill

    Very entertaining, thanks. I like your leadership blog. Keep it up and delivering great articles,

  4. Shawn C. Stolarz

    Dr. Rick (a made up character for the commercial) is really a good actor. His facial expressions are spot on. Great job with your commercial, Progressive Insurance. It takes a lot of good research on human interaction to get a good story out like this one.

  5. corralesdon

    Gen. Satterfield, I’d seen this advertisement on tv a number of times and never really gave it much thought. Now I have a better understanding and that I was letting slip by an important point.

    1. Laughing Monkey

      Yes, me too. Thanks. I didn’t see that we are BOTH biological and social as well. The particular makeup of any thought or action we take is a combination of these and that varies depending upon our mood, time of day, and our environment.

      1. Kenny Foster

        Good point LM. Most folks will not get what you wrote but I think it is important enough for me to note it. The denial of biology as a factor in humans is to ignore the obvious. Too many of us today go out of our way to ignore it and ignore it to our peril.

      2. Fred Weber

        Excellent point Laughing Monkey and I agree … but so what? Most people can’t even count the loose change in their pocket much less understand a complex social condition.

  6. Janna Faulkner

    Excellent article and, yes, I did watch the ad from Progressive Ins. 😊😊😊😊

  7. Max Foster

    I just love this commercial and for the reason that it is entertaining. But as you look at it closer you will see (like the other commercials from Progressive) that they are actually damn smart. Whoever put these together understood some of what Gen. Satterfield and Dr. Jordan Peterson call “mega-stories” (those common stories that stick in our minds because they tell us an old, necessary story).

  8. Silly Man

    Message within a message within a message. Now that really sucks. And how is a normal person supposed to untie this present?

    1. Steve Dade

      You start with the main message and then start looking for others. That is how. And, I know you know…. just had to say.

      1. JT Patterson

        Ha Ha…. this is just too good. Let’s not worry so much about the message but start with the obvious and understand what the point is. It is that we become like others who are around us. We “see” what they do and do the same. Even if we rebel, we are like them in so many ways. Well done, Gen. Satterfield.

        1. Nick Lighthouse

          Biology, yep. Culture, yep. Both, yep. Story is over. Dont’ deny it.

    2. Sadako Red

      Gen. Satterfield helps us sort it out but it is also incumbent upon ourselves to work thru the issues as well. Do not be fooled by the easy messaging.

    1. British Citizen

      Why is the commercial great? I think – just my opinion – is that it hits one of the major themes in life. That we are like others and sometimes we don’t want to be like them for good reason. Yet, we keep getting drawn in that direction. Not crazy stuff but important enough to recognize for our ability to get along with others.

    2. Darryl Sitterly

      I still enjoy this commercial when it comes on. I found it also on YouTube (a communist enterprise BTW). I try not to give my business to organizations that consider themselves “woke.” Fortunately, from what I’ve seen, Progressive Ins. is not woke. Thank goodness.


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