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American Democracy was transformed by the 60-second commercial. Kennedy beat out Nixon in the first televised debate based on charm rather than technical ability. People listening to the debate scored Nixon far higher than the vast majority who watched it and were mesmerized by Kennedy. American auto insurance is being similarly transformed.

Flo and the Gekko have driven growth for Progressive and GEICO at the expense of the more established companies through their 60-second television charm delivering short messages for how technology can add more value than the personal touch. Let me explain what “15 minutes can save you 15 percent or more” is really saying:

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