Some background: Allstate Insurance has a newish ad campaign which features a scruffy-looking, bruised and unshaven white man in a rumbled dark suit as a character named “Mayhem”. For all intents and purposes, he embodies all those random things that can and do happen to car owners – accidents, a tree branch falling, what have you.
Now, on with today’s ad.
The scene opens up with a shot of parking lot of a shopping mall. There’s a big sign on a glass-fronted building reading Cinema and Food. We see a large pink SUV, license plate number LP 527, pulling down the aisle toward the camera, and hear the distinctive ding of an incoming text message. The camera cuts to an interior shot of the SUV, at the driver directly. It’s the Mayhem character. He’s got a cell in his right hand and that same hand kind of clumsily holding onto the steering wheel. The left hand is firmly in place on the wheel. He’s got several cuts, one butterfly-bandaged near his left eye, and a bruise on his face. Large, pink-framed sunglasses are perched atop his head.
“I’m a teenage girl,” he says to camera. “My BFF Becky texts…” The phone dings twice, and he pulls his right hand slightly to look at the screen. “And says she’s kissed Johnny. Well, that’s a problem because I like Johnny.”
He tosses the phone over his shoulder, into the back seat.
“Now, I’m emotionally compromised,” he says, the words going to voiceover as the camerawork pulls back to the exterior of the SUV swerving in the parking lot. At the bottom of the screen reads: Demonstration only. Do not attempt. Cut back to the inside of the vehicle, and Mayhem widening his eyes and careening the vehicle to the left, saying, “Whoopsies!” as he swipes into a parked vehicle. The front bumper of the SUV crumples and falls away. The car it hits, a nondescript sedan, has its front bumper torn halfway off. The car is forcibly moved until it is askew in its parking space. We are back to an interior shot. Mayhem, speaking to camera, with an affronted array of expressions on his face, “I’m all, OMG, Becky’s not even hot.”
Cut to a scene of the damaged car’s owner, a black woman wearing a blue cami, blue buttoned shirt, worn unbuttoned, and black trousers. She’s carrying several shopping bags, and darts toward her vehicle, inspecting the damage. At the bottom of the screen appears the words: Coverage and savings based on policy features selected.
“And if you’ve got cut-rate insurance, you could be paying for this yourself.”
The woman looks around the parking lot, a look of shock and disbelief on her face. And then we cut back to half screen interior of the SUV, with Mayhem framed in it, and in the other half of the screen we can see the smashed car. Message at the bottom of the screen now reads: Coverages subject to availability, terms and conditions. Allstate Property and Casualty Insurance Co. & Allstate Fire and Casualty Insurance Co. & their affiliates; Northbrook, IL Copyright 2010 Allstate Insurance Co.
“So get Allstate,” Mayhem says. “You could save money and be better protected from mayhem like me.” He winks. The next shot is of the pink SUV tearing out of the parking lot.
Allstate’s name and logo (a blue circle – inside, two hands folded palm up as if to catch or hold something) appear on a black screen. Below it, their URL and a 1-800 number. Voiceover: Dollar for dollar, nobody protects you from mayhem like Allstate.
See also, if you dare: this other Allstate commercial
PS, the title is a tongue-in-cheek play on their motto, “You’re in good hands, with Allstate.”