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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

 
Continue reading


3 Comments

Allstate’s Soya La Mala Suerte: At the repair shop

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 the guys at the repair shop. Soya La Mala Suerte greets the car owner with substandard insurance at the shop, and then appears on the bus that the man has to take as he leaves the shop.
 

 

The ad closes with the tag line:

La Mala Suerte se puede cruzar en tu camino en cualquier momento.

¿Estás en buenas manos?

At the time of this writing, the clip on YouTube, posted Jan. 25, had 182 views, 0 likes, and 2 dislikes. There was one lone comment. (But it’s early still.)

The only YouTube comment (so far):
 

Bueno. I like this one he’s more sinister that the Anglo Mayhem. Subtle.

~ jackrubyuk,
YouTube member

 
Interesting observation, jackrubyuk. Makes me wish I understood Spanish.

On the Soy La Mala Suerte  (“I am Bad Luck”) Facebook page, the ad hadn’t been shared yet. As for the character’s page itself, 99, 284 (up from 96,525 Dec. 22) like the page and 1,928 were talking about it.
 

EARLIER: Soy La Mala Suerte: Billboard

 

RELATED: 2010’s Holiday Mayhem

 

ALSO RELATED: Mayhem is the Sexiest GPS Alive

 

EARLIER: Mommy! Mayhem needs a sippie cup!

 

EARLIER (AND FUNNIER): Mayhem: ‘I’m a raccoon’

 

AND EVEN EARLIER: Hot Jogger, Teen Driver and more!

 

Recalculating!


Held back: Allstate’s ‘Mayhem’ puts you on hold

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.

 
ED’S NOTE: The commentary here reflects my interest in advertising as a marketing student. The opinions expressed here are mine and in no way reflect the opinions of my employers.

In the flurry of the holiday rush, this Mayhem commercial slipped past me. Just as well, I’ve been on hold most of the holiday season trying to get a prescription filled during a drug shortage. (But that’s a more serious post about supply and demand, distribution management and unnecessary government regulations to be written at a later date.)
 

 
Other Mayhem fans seem to be preoccupied by the season distracted, too: At the time of this writing, this clip, posted on YouTube on Dec. 20, had only 301 views. The clip was posted at 5:20 p.m. Sunday on the Mayhem Facebook page, where 8,723 people like it and 1,549 are sharing it.
 

FROM JULY 2011: A roundup of 2011 Mayhem commercials


 

 
Oh, Mayhem. You had me at “shaky, shaky” last year. Who would’ve thought our love affair would last when Allstate (NASDAQ: ALL) decided to make insurance funnier than a gecko?

“Mayhem” continues to charm in the most recent spots, which were posted on Allstate’s YouTube channel in late May. Actor Dean Winters joyfully takes on the roles of Mayhem as a raccoon (“Raccoon Mayhem”), a Craigslist buyer (“Motorcycle Mayhem”) and a kid intent on clogging a toilet with toys (“Toilet Flood Mayhem”). Quick looks at YouTube and Facebook show the ads’ dark humor proves popular.

At the time of this writing, “Raccoon Mayhem” had 183,103 views on YouTube, 674 likes and 10 dislikes. On Mayhem’s Facebook page, which boasts 991,447 followers, 372 people liked the ad and 58 commented. On YouTube, 44 viewers weighed in, including one who said:

This commercial helps me forget the pain of sitting through a Magnum Ice Cream, or Geico, or Progressive commercial. Mayhem makes a valid point about how one shouldn’t just go for the cheapest brand when selecting an insurer, and at the same time he’s clever and amusing.

High praise, that.

The 15-second ad “Toilet Flood Mayhem” has only 31,523 views on YouTube, 68 likes and one dislike, and two comments not of note. (I guess a kid shoving toys in a toilet just isn’t as fun as a raccoon eating insulation.) On Facebook, however, this ad has 771 likes and 255 comments, including:

Love Mayhem. No commercial is better. Kids call me to tell me Mayhem is on. Awesome.

(I think it’s sweet her kids call her to tell her a commercial is on, but wouldn’t it be over with by the she answered?)

 

 

“Motorcycle Mayhem” — a 30-second spot that I had not seen before today — has 1,664 likes on Facebook and 166 comments. This time Mayhem is answering an online classified ad and the script is nearly perfect: “You listed this midlife crisis on the Internet, and three e-mails later, you’re going to trust me to a test drive? How hard can this be?”

At the time of this writing, the spot has been viewed on YouTube 46,761 times and generated 11 comments. Among the top-rated remarks:

I would sit through this commercial a thousand times and still be happy. I turn the channel when that stupid gecko and his fake radio show or that stupid woman and her fake Walmart comes on TV.

and

I personally believe this is the worst one, and it’s still pretty funny.

Although comments and likes don’t necessarily translate into “conversions” (actual customers), Mayhem’s dark humor has impact — he’s effective. We know who he is and we know the brand — and brand recognition goes far these days. It seems Allstate found themselves in good hands when they hired Leo Burnett, the agency that brought us product characters such as the Marlboro Man, Jolly Green Giant, Tony the Tiger and Toucan Sam.


3 Comments

Allstate’s Soya La Mala Suerte: Mayhem translated

I learn something new every day. Turns out that Allstate’s “Mayhem” has an Hispanic counterpart: Soya La Mala Suerte. In this 30-second spot, a driver is distracted by a hot girl in a bikini on a billboard and, well, you know how it’s going to end.
 

 

La Mala Suerte se puede cruzar en tu camino en cualquier momento. ¿Estás en buenas manos?

 
At the time of this writing, the clip on YouTube, posted Dec. 22, had 1,841 views, 12 likes and 11 dislikes.

On the Soy La Mala Suerte  (“I am Bad Luck” — Is this correct? I don’t speak Spanish.) Facebook page, 509 people liked the ad, 57 commented and 24 had shared it. As for the character’s page itself, 96,525 like the page and 4,863 were talking about it.

 

RELATED: 2010’s Holiday Mayhem

 

ALSO RELATED: Mayhem is the Sexiest GPS Alive

 

EARLIER: Mommy! Mayhem needs a sippie cup!

 

EARLIER (AND FUNNIER): Mayhem: ‘I’m a raccoon’

 

AND EVEN EARLIER: Hot Jogger, Teen Driver and more!

 

Recalculating!


1 Comment

REWIND from 2010: ‘Mayhem’ the fir tree

EDITOR’S NOTE: This post originally appeared on J’s Pages in 2010 after I saw it on Yahoo! as a display ad. I’m reposting with updated YouTube views in the interest of the holidays.


 

With a scent that’s like making love to a lumberjack.

~ Mayhem the Fir Tree

 
Allstate’s “Mayhem” (played by Dean Winters) doesn’t take time off for Christmas. Instead, the “world’s greatest Douglas fir” — with a scent “like making love to a lumberjack” — becomes Mayhem when the twine comes undone on the way home and and lands in the path of an oncoming car.

As of this update, the clip has 894,081 views on YouTube, with 1,405 likes and 48 dislikes. On Dec. 14, 2010, the clip had 74,713 views on YouTube.

Agency: Leo Burnett, the folks who brought us product characters such as the Marlboro Man, Jolly Green Giant, Tony the Tiger, and Toucan Sam.