Advertising Age published a story on the freshest Mayhem bullshit from Allstate and Leo Burnett. For the advertiser and its White advertising agency to keep hyping and extending this campaign only underscores the fact that insurance salespeople and ad executives are among the least-trusted professionals ever. After all, positioning the work as cool—especially in a category where competitors run breakthrough and iconic concepts—demands peddling serious lies to oneself and others.
The new Mayhem and Dennis Haysbert commercials warn viewers about burglars tapping social media to target victims. It’s mind-boggling how Allstate and Burnett continue to use both characters—Mayhem and Haysbert—to deliver the same messages. Is it an admission that Mayhem does not communicate clearly, requiring Haysbert to explain matters in a more straightforward style?
Equally mind-boggling is the rationale behind the latest campaign. “We’re not saying don’t use social media,” said Allstate VP-Integrated Marketing Communications Pam Hollander. “We’re saying use it smartly. There are people out there posting everything about their lives and they leave themselves vulnerable. … This is just the beginning. The whole intent of the campaign is to launch into what we’re calling ‘Project Aware Share’… educating people about what they can do to be smarter about having the right home protection.” People can be smarter by opting for GEICO or State Farm over Allstate. Plus, Allstate should use social media smartly versus polluting the Internet with lame banner ads and native advertising starring Mayhem.