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GPS Mayhem and Allstate Commercial

Written by Michele Wilmonen. Posted in Advertising, Research Last Updated: 07/20/2011

As Allstate shows Mayhem can happen anywhere, even with your GPS.



Commercial opens with a man driving his car and “Mayhem” lying against the dashboard acting as the drivers GPS.

Mayhem: “You never update me so now; I just have to wing it. (talking to driver as GPS) No, I meant turn left up ahead. Recalculating! Turn right now!”

Driver makes a quick right turn into head on traffic and crashes into multiple cars. Mayhem laughs and is enjoying the fact that he caused an accident.

Mayhem: “And your 15 minute insurance may not pay for all this. So get Allstate. You can save money and be better protected from Mayhem, like me. Recalculating!”

Commercial closes with the Allstate logo.

Announcer: “Dollar for dollar no one protects you from mayhem like Allstate.”

Point of the Commercial

This commercial is directed specifically at GEICO clients or people thinking about switching to GEICO.

They are pointing out that “Mayhem” (an accident) can happen at any time and you never know how bad the results will be. By being with GEICO, you may have saved money because you didn’t purchase enough coverage. This is a problem now because you have this big accident and may not have enough coverage for all of the damages you just caused.

What They Want You to Do

As much as the commercial talks about a defunct GPS system, Allstate does not want you to update your GPS system. Though if you need to, it would be a good idea.

They want you to either call Allstate and get a quote for better insurance coverage if you are with GEICO or making the point that you need to stay with Allstate if you are thinking of switching to GEICO.

GEICO must be doing something right, because this is the second company that has directed their insurance commercials in the last 9 months directly at people that are insured with Geico or are thinking about switching to Geico.

My Opinion

The actor who plays Mayhem is what makes the commercial.

Allstate found a very creative way to represent the troubles people have with GPS telling people where to go at the last minute and how dangerous last minute directions can lead to accidents. They could have done it with a regular GPS, but it wouldn’t have been as funny.

I am not a fan of all the Mayhem commercials, but I do like this one. Thumbs Up.

University of Farmers Insurance – Sticky Map

Written by Michele Wilmonen. Posted in Advertising, Research Last Updated: 07/20/2011

Farmers Insurance uses its University of Farmers students as human thumbtacks to show that they are progressing east.


Commercial opens on the outside of the University of Farmers campus.

Screen changes to people in a classroom in blue jumpsuits and blue helmets jumping up and down. We find out that the people that are jumping up and down are agents and they are going through an exercise.

The instructor is sitting on a ladder and asks what the purpose of the exercise is.

Screen changes to a full shot of the classroom where we see 3 of the agents stuck on a United States map and three more jumping on two large trampolines.

The instructors question is answered by one of the agents with, “Expansion, Sir. Farmers is heading east.”

Agents continue to bounce on the trampolines and then throw themselves on the map where they are sticking from west to east.

In response to the instructor’s questions, the jumping agents explain that Farmers has the rest of the country covered already and that people should care because Farmers has the “sharpest agents out there” that can save people “hundreds”.

Commercial ends with Farmers logo and “Now in Pennsylvania” on the screen under the logo.

Point of the Commercial

Farmers is announcing that they are going to start writing in more states in the eastern part of the United States. I would be surprised if they don’t continue to recycle this commercial for each of the new states that they start writing in and just have a different “Now in …….” on the last screen of the commercial for each state.

What They Want You to Do

For those that already live in states that write Farmers, they are emphasizing that a Farmers agent could save you money on your car insurance (Yawn).

For those that live in states that Farmers is now starting to write in, they are letting you know that there is a new player in town. They want you to call and get a quote from one of their new agents in your state. New company means that you have never called this insurance company for an insurance quote before and they could be cheaper than your current insurance company.

My Opinion

The commercial got its point across, but it’s nothing memorable. I feel that the commercial is leaning to the dumb side and not in a good way. Thumbs Down.

How To Learn About Insurance Companies

Written by Todd Clay. Posted in Advertising, Research Last Updated: 07/15/2011

Finding out about insurance companies takes a combination of their own advertising, but also reading reviews of the company.

A Red Boat Standing Out from the Rest

An insurance company is always trying to make themselves stand out from the competition.

Insurance companies get most of their business by making you familiar with their name and what they sell. They do this through unending advertising, name recognition and more advertising (refer back to unending).

But, even with all of their efforts to make us well known with their name how do we know if an insurance company is really worth our time and money?

We can find out by using both the information from the insurance company and also seeking out information from other consumers.

From the Insurance Company

Insurance is an extremely competitive industry. Each company has to compete with another company to try and sell you something that you have to have and also don’t want to buy.

To do this the insurance companies are going to put their best foot forward. They are going to tell you “we have better customer satisfaction” or “you can save xx%” to get you to purchase a policy with them. This is the advertising that you can ignore or just enjoy for the entertainment without paying attention to what is being sold (i.e. Geico’s woodchuck commercial).

What you do need to pay attention to are the advertisements that introduce an insurance company’s latest and greatest new program for the insurance that they sell. Products like Nationwide’s Vanishing Deductible or Allstate’s Accident Forgiveness.

Listen when an insurance company offers a new program that none of the other companies offer. It may be something that could save you money or make it worth your while to call the company for a quote.

From the Consumer

You can find out how an insurance company treats its clients by talking to people that have been insured with them.  First, ask people you know who they are insured with. These are the people you will get the most honest response from. If they are happy they will tell you about it and vice versa.

Find insurance company reviews on websites that write about insurance or business. These reviews are written from the point of view of a person that usually has experience in the area of insurance, but is not affiliated with the insurance company that they are reviewing. These reviews offer a professional and even a consumer point of view about a company.

Look for insurance consumer reviews on the internet. Consumer reviews are the rawest of all information that you can find about an insurance company. They are not professionally edited nor is the person writing it restricted in what they say.

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