As the writer behind Progressive Insurance’s famous Flo character, Mary credits the University of Massachusetts Amherst for teaching her how to think.
I don't think people should have figured out what they want to do when they're just entering college. I really enjoyed UMass, because I really learned how to think. We always talked about the rational and the emotional, and how you marry those. It's fun to come up with a strategy. And it's fun to do the creative concepting. With Progressive, they were the first ones to offer insurance online. The idea was that we will build an online store on TV. It was a way of taking the intangible, and making it tangible. We needed the cashier for the store. And we cast Flo. And she was really funny. Now a lot of people come saying, "Oh, we want that Flo thing." Coming out of UMass, I knew creative was king. If you don't know exactly what you want to do, spend the time learning the classics. Read, write, think. The opportunities are tremendous. And that's really what I got at UMass. I'm Mary Webb. I'm EVP, executive creative director at Havas Edge. I stand for women in creative departments, and I stand for UMass.