Thursday, December 23, 2010

Mayhem Makes Me Flip

Have you seen the Allstate Insurance Mayhem commercials?  They are the ones in which “Mayhem”(the condition of chaos, bedlam, and turmoil) is personified in a human male wearing a scruffy suit and a three-day growth.  The actor is seen in a variety of situations in which bad things happen to cars as a result of Mayhem’s presence.  Mayhem, representing a puppy, eats the car’s back seat.  Or Mayhem causes a tree branch to fall and crush a car.  Mayhem is a comely female out for her run.  There are several variations on this theme.

The point of the commercials is that Mayhem can strike any time. Allstate covers these types of accidents where some of their competitors may not.  The ads are effective in that my 84-year old mother, who doesn’t drive, got the message.  I wonder if the demographic Allstate wants also gets it.

I understand the point of the ads.  I got it right away myself.  However, I do not watch these ads.  I hate them.  I cannot grab the remote fast enough. 

I have nothing against Allstate or its insurance.  I like the ad about the hazards of frying the Thanksgiving turkey; I just can’t stand the Mayhem ads.  My aversion to them interested me so I thought about it.  I decided the concept was fine but I just don’t like the character.  (I’m not supposed to like Mayhem - I get that.) 

What it is that repels me?  His appearance?  Mayhem isn’t nice and neat. Mayhem is supposed to be a mess.  Could it be what he does? No. All those accidents would bring mayhem into our lives.  I don’t know.  I haven’t figured it out.  I just know that I click to a different channel the moment one of the Mayhem ads begins. 

I wonder why.  Your thoughts?