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Originally established for times when I needed more than 140 characters to finish a thought on marketing or media.


Allstate’s Mayhem: A study in car maintenance

EDITOR’S NOTE: This post reflects my interest as a marketing student in advertising and social media marketing. The opinions expressed here are mine and in no way reflect the opinions of my employers. No agencies or products are endorsed.
 

 

You know you need new wiper blades, so why don’t you take 10 minutes to replace them?

 
It’s an irritating task that we never do when we’re supposed to, and the ad folks for Allstate (Nasdaq: ALL) know this. So in a new 30-second ad, posted on YouTube on Sept. 26, Allstate’s Mayhem is our worn-out wiper blades that leave us defenseless against the torrential downpour we’re guaranteed to encounter just hours after we say to ourselves, “I need new wiper blades.”

Worn-out wiper blades represent a self-imposed risk we take when we procrastinate, a mark of our stupidity — not necessarily Mayhem in its truest form.

But when we look at the Mayhem ads with a more critical eye, we see they’re funny and engaging, but nothing that happens is really devastating. A kitchen fire is kinda funny. A dryer fire? Hilarious. And really, who among us doesn’t love it when a drunk football fan runs in front of our car? No, Mayhem isn’t that ominous, which is why the character Dean Winters portrays is a great product character: He sells insurance that is supposed to help us when shit happens — without making us fear the possibilities of kitchen and dryer fires, or bad referees who run screaming from the stadium.

You all know this stuff, and it’s obvious that I do. That’s why this is my last post on the Mayhem character. What began as a roundup of clever ads that caught my gnat-size attention evolved into an experiment in search-engine optimization that ultimately hijacked this blog and its theme: I ended up focusing solely on funny advertisements, and even then, I wasn’t able to write about them as critically or in-depth as I would have liked. As it happens, my time is to blog is very limited these days, and I can’t spend it writing about Mayhem. I’m grateful to Allstate and the users of YouTube (and Facebook) for all of your support, but it’s past time for me to focus on other campaigns, other marketing elements. (That last part is code for: I’m ready to geek out over product packaging and placement! Who’s with me?)

That said, I’ll conclude this post like I’ve concluded the other Mayhem posts, with a nod to Mayhem’s popularity: At 6:30 p.m., about five hours after it was posted on Facebook, the video had 8747 likes 232 comments, and 773 shares.The timestamp on YouTube says the video was posted Sept. 26, 2012; as of 6:30 p.m. Sept. 27, there were 341 views, 0 likes and 0 comments — but it was early still.
 

EARLIER: A roundup of 2011 Mayhem commercials

 
AGENCY: Leo Burnett, the agency that brought us product characters such as the Marlboro Man, Jolly Green Giant, Tony the Tiger and Toucan Sam.


Allstate’s Mayhem: A quick case study in bad DIY

EDITOR’S NOTE: This post reflects my interest as a marketing student in advertising and social media marketing. The opinions expressed here are mine and in no way reflect the opinions of my employers. No agencies or products are endorsed.
 

 
Why haven’t we seen this before? In a 15-second clip, posted on YouTube on Aug. 5, Mayhem tries to use an electric buzzsaw. (Phhhht.) At the time of this writing, it had 303 views, 56 likes, and 1 dislike (though I might click the thumbs-down myself.) At 9:48 p.m. Aug. 5, the clip had been posted on the Mayhem Facebook page for about an hour, during which 2,091 people liked the ad, 496 had shared it, and 66 people had commented on it, including Amie who said:
 

Crushin’ on Mayhem! 🙂

 
No one ever crushed on the Geico lizard, did they?

 

EARLIER: A roundup of 2011 Mayhem commercials

 
AGENCY: Leo Burnett, the agency that brought us product characters such as the Marlboro Man, Jolly Green Giant, Tony the Tiger and Toucan Sam.


2 Comments

Allstate’s Soya La Mala Suerte: Claw game spot

Allstate’s Hispanic counterpart to “Mayhem,” Soya La Mala Suerte, has a new 30-second spot that puts an unlucky driver at the mercy of a child’s toy won in a claw game. (You know, the merciless machines at Chuck E. Cheese and supermarkets that steal your money, hope, and sanity as you try to retrieve a cheap toy with mechanical claw that looks like it’s an artifact found in the depths of  medieval torture room.)

What was I saying? Oh, yeah. The kid wins a ball that looks like a black cat. (Oooh! A black cat! They’re bad luck! Get it?!?!) On the way home, the sweet-faced child falls asleep in the back of the minivan, and the black cat ball rolls from his tiny little hand to the floor and then to the driver’s side, where it’s lodged under Dad’s brake pedal.

Can you guess what happens next? Well, try. Or watch the clip if the suspense is killing you.
 

 
Soya La Mala Suerte leaves the scene of the accident, cheerfully tossing the black cat ball.

And of course, the ad closes by asking:

¿Estás en buenas manos?

 
At the time of this writing, the clip on YouTube, posted June 25, had 106 views, 2 likes, and 1 dislike. There were no comments, but it’s early still.

In a previous post on Soya La Mala Suerte, I quoted a YouTube commenter, jackrubyuk, who said, “I like this one; he’s more sinister that the Anglo Mayhem. Subtle.” I don’t speak Spanish, but I can pick up tiny bits of dialog and the visuals do most of the work. Even if you don’t understand the clips’ script, you can still tell a difference comparing the Soya La Mala Suerte spots with the Mayhem series.

The commenter was right: Soya La Mala Suerte is more subtle, more ominous. Dean Winter’s Mayhem (which we all love) is goofier, not quite as scary. All the bad things that Mayhem makes happen certainly suck, but they don’t put the characters in the same grade of danger as the characters in the Soya La Mala Suerte ads.

The Soy La Mala Suerte  (“I am Bad Luck”) Facebook page also has a more sinister tone (the threat of the falling air conditioners will certainly strike fear into almost any urban dweller). Even so, the public loves him: At the time of this writing, Soy La Mala Suerte had 124 likes on Facebook. That’s up from 99,284 on Jan. 25, 2012.
 

EARLIER: Soy La Mala Suerte: Billboard

 

RELATED: Mayhem is the Sexiest GPS Alive

 


Allstate rewind: Large espresso lawsuit

EDITOR’S NOTE: This post reflects my interest as a marketing student in advertising and social media marketing. The opinions expressed here are mine and in no way reflect the opinions of my employers.
 

 
Allstate is reuploading its Mayhem videos to YouTube, and because I subscribe to their channel, my phone is blowing up. Of course, this mean I stop everything to post a fan favorite. In this 30-second spot for the insurance company, Mayhem as the guy who’s going to sue you because you hit him and he spilled his large espresso in his lap.
 

Your 15-minute insurance may not cover my $90,000 car, so I sue you because that’s what I do.
~ Mayhem,
The guy who is going to sue you

 
Mayhem fans visiting this site may notice some videos are marked “expired.” I noticed this just tonight when I was checking some links. I will update the Allstate posts as soon as Allstate finishes updating its channel. Thanks for your patience — and for reading.
 

‘Mayhem the Guard Dog’

 

 

EARLIER: A roundup of 2011 Mayhem commercials

 


More from Allstate: It’s March and it’s Mayhem

UPDATE 5-31-2012: Allstate is updating its YouTube channel, and some videos are working and some are not. I’m trying to update the links as soon as Allstate reposts them. Thank you for your patience.

 
EDITOR’S NOTE: This post reflects my interest as a marketing student in advertising and social media marketing. The opinions expressed here are mine and in no way reflect the opinions of my employers.

 
I’m a slave to you people. Allstate uploads a Mayhem video and I stop everything to post it. Yet another one for March Madness. Mayhem is a power forward from your alma mater and …
 

You couldn’t look away if your kitchen were on fire!

 

Hey! Your kitchen’s on fire!

~ Mayhem,
The Power Forward

 
NCAA fans will get an eyeful of this one as we sink our teeth into the Sweet 16. This clip is super fresh — at the time of this writing, posted on YouTube on March 22, had only 115 views. At 3:45 p.m., the clip was not yet posted on the Mayhem Facebook page. However, the “Final Four” clip, which was posted on the Facebook page (finally) on March 18, had 4,475 Facebook likes, 181 comments, and it’s been shared 1,094 times. On YouTube, it has 37,468 views, that’s up from 1,827 on March 16.
 

‘Final Four Mayhem’

 

 

EARLIER: A roundup of 2011 Mayhem commercials

 


3 Comments

Allstate’s Mayhem: A slam dunk in March Madness

UPDATE 5-31-2012: Allstate is updating its YouTube channel, and some videos are working and some are not. I’m trying to update the links as soon as Allstate reposts them. Thank you for your patience.

 
EDITOR’S NOTE: This post reflects my interest as a marketing student in advertising and social media marketing. The opinions expressed here are mine and in no way reflect the opinions of my employers.
 

 
We all saw this coming, didn’t we?  New Mayhem for March Madness. I think the NCAA fans are too preoccupied by the season: At the time of this writing, this clip, posted on YouTube on March 16, had only 1,827 views. At 8:11 p.m. March 17, the clip was not yet posted on the Mayhem Facebook page. However, the “Guard Dog” clip, which was posted to YouTube on March 14, the same day it was posted on the Facebook page, has 35,508 views; 5,106 people “like” the video on Facebook, 266 people have commented, and it has been shared 2,232 times.
 

 

FROM JULY 2011: A roundup of 2011 Mayhem commercials

 
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1 Comment

Super Bowl ZZZZ: My Top 5 ad picks

ED’S NOTE: This post reflects my interest as a marketing student in advertising, promotion, search-engine optimization, and viral marketing. No agencies or products are endorsed. The opinions expressed here are mine and in no way reflect the opinions of my employers.

More insight-packed, 30-seconds-or-less commentary to come. This is just a quick-and-dirty roundup.
 

1. Doritos’ “Man Best Friend” because dog murderers are just really funny sometimes.

 

 

2. Chevy’s “Happy Grad” because I love it when the hopes and dreams of a young graduate are killed and buried under a tsunami of disappointment and tears — sooner rather than later.

 

 

3. “Cheetah” because the closed-captioning script for the Hyundai Veloster Turbo commercial included the line: “Friend girly screams.”

 

 

4. Suzuki’s “Sled” with 50 Cent – because it has fluffy doggies and Fiddy. What more could I ask for?

 

 

5. And finally — perhaps my fave — Skechers’ “Go run, Mr. Quiggly!” – because the dog replaced a no-talent Kardashian.


 

 

RELATED: Volkswagen 2012 Game Day commercial.
 
ALSO RELATED: FERRIS BUELLER TAKES ANOTHER DAY OFF – WITH A HONDA CRV
 


1 Comment

Volkswagen’s game day commercial: Dog Strikes Back

ED’S NOTE: This post reflects my interest as a marketing student in advertising, promotion, search-engine optimization, and viral marketing. No agencies or products are endorsed. The opinions expressed here are mine and in no way reflect the opinions of my employers.

UPDATE: As of 12:20 p.m. Feb. 6, the clip has 5,198,818 views, 19,893 likes, and 697 dislikes.

I don’t know where to begin with this. I can only say that I saw Volkswagen’s extended Super Bowl ad on Twitter, it had a cute dog — and Darth Vader — so I was compelled to post it.
 

 
At the time of this writing, this clip, which was posted Jan. 30, had 1,476,473 views, 7,827 likes, and 275 dislikes.

Before I even hit “publish” on this post, the clip, which was posted Jan. 30, had 1,539,513 views, 8,004 likes, and 277 dislikes

When I first saw the ad on YouTube, this was one of the top comments (spelling and grammar are uncorrected):
 

I wanna know what this had to do with star wars at all.
~ warguy2499,
YouTube member

 
I know, warguy, I also wondered that. And then later I remembered the “Vader Kid” ad from last year. It seems, too, the other 1,539,512 1,476,472 viewers also seem confused and detached, weighing in with:
 

So a dog is faster then a VW beetle?
~ PZYLA,
YouTube member

 
Probably not the “impression” the Volkswagen marketing folks were hoping for. This probably wasn’t the commercial’s goal either:
 

…the f*** did that come from?!
~ mrbradpainter,
YouTube member

 
I would have gone with “What the hell?” but I see your point, mrbradpainter. And then we have another viewer who is also unable to summon even a bit of aesthetic distance:
 

This car is crap, a dog is faster than it!
~ djsta77,
YouTube member

 
Yeah, djsta77, but the car is CUTE! Some folks really buy into form over function, and we don’t see the dog pass the car.

Even if some viewers are scratching their heads, Volkswagen at least got their attention. And for those who didn’t get the Star Wars tie-in, they probably didn’t see the wildly popular “Vader Kid” ad from last year or “The Bark Side,” the Volkswagen Game Day teaser — which is beyond cute, even if it doesn’t have a sheltie.
 

 
At the time of this writing, “The Bark Side,” uploaded on Jan. 18, had 11,005,635 views, 71,851 likes, and 1,300 dislikes.
 
About the Volkswagen YouTube Channel
(As of Feb. 2, 2012)

Date joined: ?
Subscribers: 26,687
Video views: 83,572,818
 

RELATED: The VW “The Force” aka “Vader Kid” ad from 2011

 

 
As of Feb. 6, 2012, this clip had 50,373,140 views, 195,942 likes, and 3,140 dislikes.

EARLIER: FERRIS BUELLER TAKES ANOTHER DAY OFF – WITH A HONDA CRV

 


Kenny Powers is back in ‘Eastbound’

UPDATE FEB. 1, 2012: Adds Eastbound & DownDrum Tease” clip and updates numbers of views and likes for clips.

Rejoice has-been athletes everywhere! Kenny Powers is back in Eastbound & Down, and from the looks of this promo, it looks like he’ll be pitching the rawhide in Myrtle Beach, S.C., this season.  Nice to know he found time to shoot the HBO series between pitching Tubes for shoemaker K-Swiss (NASDAQ: KSWS).

Season 3 debutes Feb. 19 on HBO with the tagline urging viewers to “Get F**king Ready.”
 

 
At the time of this update, this clip had 175,270 views, 460 likes, and 9 dislikes. It had 1,500 when I first posted this Jan. 31.

Meanwhile, the Season 3 “Drum Tease” for Eastbound & Down has 436,081 views, 745 likes, and 15 dislikes.
 

 

EARLIER: Kenny Power still gainfully employed in 2011

 

EARLIER: More on Kenny Powers

 

EVEN EARLIER: K-Swiss recruits Kenny Powers

 


2 Comments

Honda CR-V commercial: Ferris Bueller takes another day off

ED’S NOTE: This post reflects my interest as a marketing student in advertising, promotion, search-engine optimization, and viral marketing. No agencies or products are endorsed. The opinions expressed here are mine and in no way reflect the opinions of my employers.

UPDATE 12:01 a.m. FEB. 1: The clip now has 4,827,077 views, 21,730 likes, and 1,946 dislikes.

UPDATED AT 8:25 P.M. JAN. 30

Honda is cleverly tapping into aging Gen-Xers’ ridiculously bloated sense of ’80s nostalgia with a new extended advertisement for its cross-over vehicle, the CR-V.

(Editor’s note: Although I’m a Gen-Xer, I hate all things ’80s except for Prince, so it pains me to type the rest of this post.)

Matthew Broderick has been cast as himself to sort of reprise his character Ferris Bueller (gag) from the overappreciated, overcelebrated 1986 John Hughes flick Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. For the Millennials who may not remember John Hughes, he was the writer-director who convinced an entire generation that growing up middle- to upper-middle class in the suburbs was really, really, really hard — almost as hard as growing up in, say, 1960s Harlem or the Khmer Rouge’s Cambodia.

Now writer-director Todd Phillips (Old School, The Hangover) wants to convince us that Matthew Broderick actually drives a CR-V and has fun doing it.

And although I hate the movie the ad based on, the 2:25-minute spot isn’t completely without promotional merit: The creators have hidden more than two dozen references to the movie throughout clip, and viewers are encouraged to see how many they can find — which could make for a fun afternoon for folks who have time for that sort of thing.

At the time of this writing, the ad had 307 views, 1,468 likes, and 302 dislikes.

At the time of this update, the clip on YouTube had 433,493 views, 11,350 likes, and 1,288 dislikes.

When I first saw the ad on YouTube, this was one of the top comments (spelling and grammar are uncorrected):
 

The f*** is this s***? Tease me with what looks like a new ferris beuler movie and give me a honda commercial?.
~ garrettcurrie,
YouTube member

 
Sorry you’re disappointed, garrettcurrie, but it’s better for the generations to come that there is no Ferris Bueller sequel.

Mere minutes later as I prepared to wrap up this post with a dash more snark, a fellow Gen-Xer weighed in with:
 

I can’t tell if I appreciate getting a chance to revisit moments from “Day Off”, or if I’m outraged that Honda and MB defaced such a great movie to sell a freaking CRV.

I think Honda will learn that, while the Boomers may have responded well to nostalgia in their targeted advertising, GenXers are more likely to be outraged at having our cultural touchstones exploited.

~ sekhmetrix,
YouTube member

 
As I said before, I’m a Gen-Xer. But I’m not outraged. Nor am I persuaded. Exploit the touchstones — especially shitty ones. Keep Broderick working and contributing to the economy. Just don’t expect me to buy one of those ugly CR-Vs.
 
About the Honda YouTube Channel
(As of Jan. 30, 2012)

Date joined: Oct. 10, 2005
Subscribers: 37,958
Video views: 18,293,527