Insurance has typically been an avoidance category. We never want to think of bad things that could potentially happen to us and we don’t want to hear or read boring clause after clause of legal mumbo jumbo. So, we shut it out.
Geico garnered attention when they spoofed their own name and introduced a Gecko (which would never normally have anything to do with insurance) to represent their brand. It was a creative stretch, but it was goofy enough and different enough to draw the attention they sought. The risk paid off.
Conversely, Allstate went right for the jugular. They created the embodiment of mayhem, the very thing that makes us grateful to have insurance and named him Mayhem. A little-used word to describe what we don’t want in our life. However, we secretly find it entertaining in someone else’s life. That’s who Mayhem is, a guy who wanders around screwing up the lives of relatable auto and homeowners alike – that aren’t us.
He tells us entertaining stories that happen to other people, but we can all relate to the frustration. He does it all in a startling way – being thrown from a car or lying prone in the passenger seat – as he foretells an upcoming calamity. He is danger personified. He’ll do anything to cause costly catastrophes. Mayhem always leads the chaos and amuses himself with every disaster he orchestrates.
He gets pretty banged up along the way which adds to our enjoyment even though he treats his bumps and bruises like a badge of honor.
I’m guessing people who view these TV spots don’t run to their nearest Allstate representative to sign up. But they probably have Allstate on their shortlist when it comes time to buy insurance – because thanks to Mayhem and his antics, Allstate is top of mind.
Allstate has cleverly found a way to get prospects’ attention and engage their brain, and it will pay off in the long haul.