Progressive commercial capitalizes on the continued popularity of Family Matters-Reginald VelJohnson and Carl Winslow

Cheryl E Preston
TV dad Progressive Insurance CommercialPhoto byADictive Youtube screenshot

The best TV dad is now in a commercial about a father

If you have been watching television lately you have probably seen the Progressive Insurance Commercial with a very familiar face the man who portrayed the dad on the 1990s sitcom Family Matters, Remi Kent the chief marketing executive for Progressive explained the new ad.

"We continue to evolve and build characters that resonate, and who will be meaningful and representative to all consumers,” says Kent. “That’s the way forward for our brand’s future. For this campaign, we wanted to cast a familiar and loved TV dad, and we recognized the opportunity to celebrate a positive black father figure. With this in mind, who better than Reginald VelJohnson to play the role?”

The ad is a spoof of VelJohnson as "TV Dad" who dresses like, smiles like, and is in a home similar to what Carl Winslow had on Family Matters. The actor has said he is honored to be considered a model father as he has not had children of his own in real-time.

Family Matters fans continue to binge-watch the series

Family Matters was a popular ABC sitcom from 1989-1997 and warmed the hearts of fans in part because of VelJohnson who portrayed Carl Winslow. He was a hard-working and loving husband to his wife Harriet Winslow (Jo Marie Peyton) and a great dad to his children Laura Winslow ( Kelly Shanygne Williams) and Eddie Winslow (Darius McCray) as well as a father figure to his wife's nephew Little Richie (Bryton James), a foster son Three J (Orlando Brown) and neighbor Steve Urkel ( Jaleel White).

I have had conversations with people in recent years who say that Carl Winslow along with Uncle Phil Banks ( James Avery) on The Fresh Prince of Bell-Air (who once guest starred on Family Matters) are the epitome of role models and good father figures. Both shows continue to air in syndication and on streaming services and in 2018 Hulu reported that viewers were streaming all 215 episodes within a month. During COVID I watched every episode 3 or 4 times within a matter of weeks because it made me feel good. The number of fans who watch the episodes over and over indicates that television viewers long for the more wholesome images from the past and the Progressive Insurance commercial is capitalizing on the love.

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I write, about breaking news, and current events. I wrote a newspaper column from 1997 to 2007 and have written for various online platforms since 2012 including Yahoo Contributor Network, Hubpages, and Vocal Media.

Roanoke, VA

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