The Method Behind the Mayhem

Published on in Miscellaneous

ADmerica Keynote about changing the insurance conversation.

Susan Credle, CCO, Leo Burnett

Lisa Cochrane, SVP, Marketing, Allstate.

Cochran helped transform Allstate’s marketing & believes she has a responsibility to improve the lives of customers.

"It’s all about changing the conversation so we are leading it."

Back in 2010, Allstate’s “summer campaign ” wanted to inject some life into the company. Something was happening in the world of insurance though - Progressive and Geico was geared towards a younger audience, using humor to commoditize the business. But if you go with the lowest price, you run the risk of being under insured in times of crisis. People didn’t know they weren’t covered. Allstate and Leo Burnett have been partners for 50+ years. 

Agency concept pitches used to be this big ‘ta-da’ reveal, but now it’s so much more collaborative from the get-go. There’s always a ‘junk board’ up to help with brainstorming ideas. It’s how “Mayhem is everywhere” was born.

"We knew we had something…because it made some people uncomfortable," Lisa Cochrane, SVP, Marketing, Allstate said. "Heck, it even made ME a little uncomfortable — but that’s when you know you have something." 

Phil Morissen was the shooter, and with asking an actor to play a different role each time, they needed to pick a brilliant one. They wanted to spend more on casting.  

"It was great when we came across Dean Winters (He was the bad guy in "Oz," and funny guy from "30 rock") so it was a perfect blend of mischief and charm," said Cochrane.

Winters: “It’s ironic because I became actor so I wouldn’t have to put on suit and sell insurance.”

Initially, we wanted to launch in 2 1/2 to 3 months, but since we had a bunch of cuts, we decided to launch with teasers to introduce “Mayhem.” The loud thunderclap that brought attention - was a little ominous too. We got a lot of feedback, not all positive..it makes these kind of campaigns vulnerable. You can get bullied into decisions at times (and we thought they’d pull the campaign)…but they then figured out that Mayhem should not destroy on purpose. We pulled old teasers and replaced with the 30-second spot (puppy, girl jogging etc.)

The montage was actually easier to cut than a full story. “Omg, Becky’s not even hot” t-shirts were sold, Mayhem went from an old fashioned word to one used everywhere, and now Mayhem is even an action figure. It’s also been one of the most popular Halloween costumes.

He’s done incredibly well in social as well. Example, Facebook status: “It was a car on car high five” from the same writers used for the video. Their job is to keep him cool. Facebook Status during Super Bowl blackout: “I meant to turn off switchboard. Sorry, everybody. Wrong switch.”

Allstate’s Mayhem was one of first brands to embrace the timeline on Facebook with the intricately detailed storyboard that carries through.

Allstate did radio spots as well, in places that would be difficult to film and created the spot to be super relevant to each local area. Ex: Chicago pigeons ‘causing Mayhem’ in Chicago markets. They actually produced more than 3,000 radio commercials. 

What’s next for Mayhem? He’s going into the home now…a cultural nuance they found was that in Latino culture, when bad things happen its blamed on bad luck - hence the spin-off commercials.

The audience also got a first look at the new “grandma” spot, which was hilarious. 

Mayhem not going anywhere, but Allstate is adding new messages as a North Star to focus on the future, and to bring good to customers.

Watch “Good hands for the good life.”

ProductionHUB ProductionHUB Logo

Related Blog Posts
Top 10 Film Schools in Los Angeles
Top 10 Film Schools in Los Angeles
There is little denying that Los Angeles is the center of the film universe. In addition to being the home of major studios, countless A-List superstars, and an endless horde of entertainment executives, it’s also the best place in the world to study film in school. From major research institutions like UCLA and USC to film-specific conservatories such as the American Film Institute, there is an incredibly wide range of options for those interested in breaking into Hollywood. With so many great programs available, we thought we’d share our feedback on how the best schools in Los Angeles stack up.
Published on Friday, July 13, 2018
Paving the Way for Women in Production
Paving the Way for Women in Production
Eighty two film industry professionals stand in protest to represent what they describe as pervasive gender inequality in the film industry at Cannes on May 12, 2018. Since the Cannes Festival was created, 82 films directed by women have been included in the official competition, while 1,645 films directed by men were selected.
Published on Friday, June 1, 2018
ProductionHUB now offers a secure escrow service
ProductionHUB now offers a secure escrow service
In today’s online service economy, clients and vendors find it increasingly difficult to pay and get paid on time in a secure way. There are so many better options than just dropping a check in the mail. That’s why we partnered with Payoneer Escrow to offer you a highly secure way to pay and get paid for production services without risk.
Published on Wednesday, February 28, 2018