Ed, Dennis and Mayhem, Allstate's Super Ad-Men

The Many Trusted Spokesmen Of Allstate Insurance

ED REIMERS
ED REIMERS
DENNIS HAYSBERT
DENNIS HAYSBERT
DEAN WINTERS AKA, "MAYHEM"
DEAN WINTERS AKA, "MAYHEM"
MAYHEM IN AUTO ACCIDENT THAT HE CAUSED
MAYHEM IN AUTO ACCIDENT THAT HE CAUSED
MAHEM BEHIND THE WHEEL COMING AT YOU
MAHEM BEHIND THE WHEEL COMING AT YOU
MAYHEM AS THE HOT BABE OUT FOR A RUN
MAYHEM AS THE HOT BABE OUT FOR A RUN
MAYHEM TEACHING YOU TO KEEP YOUR EYES ON THE ROAD
MAYHEM TEACHING YOU TO KEEP YOUR EYES ON THE ROAD

DISCLAIMER: This is not an endorsement for Allstate Insurance. And not a paid endorsement for Allstate Insurance. I am not an Allstate customer. This is not a knock on this fine, American insurance icon. I use another insurance company. This is, a personal observation of the evolution of spokesmen that have 'went to bat,' for Allstate Insurance over the years and what they, the spokesmen, have been able to do for Allstate Insurance. Thank you for your indulgence. (KENNETH AVERY).

"You're in good hands with Allstate," says, or said, actor and spokesman, Ed Reimers, who for many years, was 'the face' of Allstate Insurance. With his stately gray hair, stone-faced features, he made us feel secure in trusting Allstate Insurance with all of our insurance needs. Isn't that what a spokesman, or woman, is supposed to do? Sell the product? Reimers did just that as Allstate's television ads were seen as sponsors on the hottest, most-popular shows. And there he'd be, holding his hand together at the end of each ad reassuring us with his Moses-like voice that we, our homes, lives, and cars would be fine if we bought Allstate Insurance.

Why was Ed Reimers so proficient as being Allstate's spokesman? One word. Trust. He had the face that could be trusted. Always clean-shaven. Gently smiling, but not too wide because Allstate didn't want him to come off looking like a cheesy used car salesman from somewhere in Texas. Allstate wanted an icon. A staple of American manhood. Enter Ed Reimers. I wonder, now looking back, if Allstate ever approached John Wayne or Jimmy Stewart to be their point men? What a stroke of advertising genius that would have been. "The Duke," rides up to a fence and says, "Pilgrim, they're a lot of insurance companies out there, and some you can't trust. But take my word, John Wayne, Allstate can be your best buddy in the insurance business. Good day." And Wayne tips his ten-gallon (white, good guy) hat and rides off.

Now you tell me. Would that not have made Allstate sales hit the ceiling like a Pepsi that had been shaken before opening? You bet it would. Wayne was America. His word was law. His face and demeanor meant trust. So did that of Ed Reimers who not only looked like someone's grandpa, but was someone's grandpa, who sat in his den many times reflecting about life's many mysteries while his wife would gently say, "Eddie, dear. Time for dinner," then Ed would smile to himself. And go to dinner to tell his wife about that day's filming of another Allstate ad.

That was then. This is now. Ed Reimers, Allstate, you or I, couldn't have foreseen from the placid 1950s to the stormy future that was coming head-on to the insurance industry. If that were possible for me to do, I wouldn't be here writing a story about insurance spokesmen, but sitting down to a tasty, expensive dinner with Nick Saban, head coach of the Alabama Crimson Tide, somewhere in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. But sadly, and begrudgingly, I am but a fleshly mortal and can only do what a fleshly mortal can do. Live the life I've been dealt and do the best I can.

But what a few years can mean by way of change to the once-quiet and obscure insurance business. Time was, and I recall this fondly, when our insurance agent, a Mr. Willard Clark, a sharp-dresser and a gift for gab, would visit my parents once a month, exchange niceties, get our payment for insurance coverage, tell a joke or two, shake hands with my dad, and leave. That was it.

Not anymore. Today 2011 sees the insurance industry at war with itself in television, newspaper and radio ads with one company promising more coverage for less money, while other companies tell us that the cheaper companies will be our doom and humiliation if we buy insurance from them and during all this barrage of ads, some green reptile with a foreign accent and a comic caveman is preaching to me that "fifteen minutes can save me fifteen percent" on car insurance and that "it's so easy that a caveman can do it." Whom can you believe? A better question is whom can you trust?

Honestly. Sincerely. This is not a knock on the companies who swear by a green reptile or resentful caveman, but my personal favorite insurance spokesman is "Mayhem," the new insurance icon from Allstate Insurance. That's his name, "Mayhem."

Let's look at "Mayhem," for a moment. Who is this character who's talents range from sitting on a housetop as a television satellite that's loose and falls on top of your car to a hot babe out for a run and you, a customer of some cut-rate insurance (not my words, but Allstate's), can as "Mayhem," advises you with a wink, "could be paying for this (wreck) yourself," and jobs off with his pink headband in plain sight.

"Mayhem," is the brainstorm of Mark Schaschwary and another Allstate Insurance Company employee who took a chance on submitting ideas for a contest to name a new Allstate ad front man and from submissions from over 900 employees, Schwaschwary and his partner won. Hands down with their idea of having actor, Dean Winters, "Mayhem's," secret identity, be shown as a raccoon in someone's attic--happy to be tearing out the insulation and wiring just to tell you that "your" current insurance may not help you pay for the damages.

Genius. This idea was genius. In the same catergory as microwave popcorn and the hula hoop. At first, when I saw the very-first ad with "Mayhem," it wasn't that funny. A man dressed in a black suit with an emotionless-expression hitting a car with another car and walking away. Or riding a pick-up truck as the truck owner's college banner and the tearing off to blind the view of a driver with cheap insurance and telling them that Allstate would be their best bet. It was hilarious. Seeing Winters, a veteran actor, now in his new and possibly more-famous and lucrative career as "Mayhem," the Allstate rep that we all, well, not all, but most of us love to see on television. I say that because it takes a lot to be loved by one-hundred percent of any country or nation. But speaking strictly for myself, "I love 'Mayhem,' and his various roles to sell Allstate Insurance.

But when Dean Winters, a/k/a "Mayhem," is not talking about Allstate, there is Dennis Haysbert, six foot, four inch tall, muscular and deep-voiced actor who made his fame on CBS' hit series, The Unit, where he starred as Jonas Blane, and Robert "Col. Tom Ryan" Patrick, leaders of a secret unit of special forces soldiers who defused dangerous situations that threatened national security. The Unit and their members did their work mostly in foreign countries. CBS, for some reason, cancelled this popular series. I guess because Alex O'Loughlin, their favorite actor, was busy being a "one-man show," on Hawaii Five-O.

Haysbert, to all with sharp memories, co-starred alongside of then-employed, Charlie "Two And A Half Men" Sheen in a blockbuster movie, Navy Seals that was very popular. For a while. Haysbert was also Pedro Cerrano in the 1989 movie-hit, Major League that also starred Tom Berenger and Corbin Bernsen. Yes, Dennis Haysbert has been around. And become as popular, almost, as Dean Winters, the "Mayhem" character. In my humble opinion.

My question is this, to all non-customers of Allstate: Be realistic. Of Ed Reimers, rest his soul, Dean "Mayhem" Winters, Dennis "The Unit" Haysbert, a green, foreign-tongued reptile, or a comical caveman, whom would you trust with your money to get your home, car, property, motorcycle and RV covered? Oh yeah, that reminds me. Include a humorously-attractive insurance spokesperson, "Flo," in your choices of insurance companies.

Tough, isn't it? You could even say a 'mayhem,' when it comes to deciding.





MAYHEM'S CURRENT TV AD

Allstate Insurance

knows how to sell insurance

  • With believable spokesmen
  • With 'trusting' celebrities
  • With in-your-face ad campaigns
  • With honest advertising

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Comments 22 comments

Alecia Murphy profile image

Alecia Murphy 5 years ago from Wilmington, North Carolina

I would say I like the Allstate commercials the best out of all the insurance ones. Flo from Progressive sometimes irritates me with her responses and quirks. The Mayhem ones are the best, that guy is awesome!


picklesandrufus profile image

picklesandrufus 5 years ago from Virginia Beach, Va

Good article. Mayhem is a great advertising approach, no doubt. Still, I love the gecko, but don't have either insurance. Just won't make purchases on ads, no matter how good they are. The Allstate ads really make you think about your choices and probably make us smarter when asking questions.


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Dear Alecia . . .THANKS FOR YOUR COMMENT. Do you reckon that when Dean Winters, the Mayhem guy, gets rich enough , and Allstate need another man, that "I" could ge that job? It might be worth a call to them,huh? LOL. I can dream, can't I? Thanks for your warm comment. KENNETH and PS, Im with you on the Flo part of the comment.


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Hi, picklesandrufus, THANKS A MILLION for your remark on the Allstate icon, Mayhem. Yes, I agree. Allstate's Mayhem is a great ad approach...wonder when and if, Mayhem is replaced, IF POSSIBLE, who or what will Allstate get next? This worries me. I LIKE Winters. Sincerely, KENNETH


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

I k ow lots of people are irritated by Flo - but I think shes funny! My favorite is when she blows the party horn and says "I wrote that one myself!" chuckle chuckle

Up and funny!


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Well, a warm hello, RealHousewife! Okay. I give you that one. And yep, she is funny. I can live with this ad approach better than the green reptile. Thanks, RealHousewife, dear friend, for your comment and vote. I appeciate both a LOT! Kenneth


phdast7 profile image

phdast7 5 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

Loved your Hub and I have loved the "mayhem" character in every one of his incarnations. It is a brilliant ad campaign. :) Theresa


Sueswan 5 years ago

Hi Kenneth,

I can't remember the last time I saw an insurance commercial on TV.

Today a few of us went for lunch. One of the ladies who is a new employee to the company was telling us that she worked for an insurance company in Indiana. No one asked her which one. Anyway, she told us the multimillion dollar salary and bonuses the CEO of the company made. That didn't surprise us but she told us most of the employees were women and their salary qualified them to use food stamps.

Totally disgusting if you ask me. Your hub on the insurance was interesting and funny.

Voted up and funny.

Have a good evening my friend. :-)

Voted up and funny


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Hello, phdast7! THANKS SO MUCH . . .for your lovely remark. I sincerely APPRECIATE YOUR input, and my goal, now, among many, is to interview Dean Winters for a hub. What a great actor. And probably a SAFE driver if we knew the truth. Thanks again. KENNETH


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

9:34 p.m./cst/11/7

Dear Sueswan . . . First, "THANK YOU FROM THE HEART for your moving comment on this hub, which IS a bit of both--humor and admiration for Dean Winters, Mayhem. And that about the insurance company your lady friend told you, well, I am disgusted as well. NO PERSON should have to beg for a salary and work like a dog for one either. Have you been following the escapades of Presidential hopeful, Herman Cain? Today a 4th woman came out with MORE allegations and she had Gloria Alred..noted lawyer at her side. This lady is out for bear! Stay tuned. And YOU, Susan, GET SOME REST AND HAVE A GREAT TUESDAY. Fondly, Kenneth


Sueswan 5 years ago

Dear Kenneth,

I haven't been following the escapades of Herman Cain but your comment sparked my curiosity so I googled it.

If it were me, I would have not waited until Cain was running for president to report the incident.

Sorry, but I think politics is a dirty game and that politicians are crooks. Some worse than others.

Have a great Tuesday.

Fondly, Susan


mary615 profile image

mary615 5 years ago from Florida

I just can't stand "Mayhem"! This was a very clever Hub, though. My favorite is the gecko. You're always doing clever, funny stuff! Just noticed at the bottom of your Hub is an Ad for Progressive Ins. and there's ole' Flo!


Seeker7 profile image

Seeker7 5 years ago from Fife, Scotland

Hi Kenneth - great hub!!!

It reminded me of the stupid insurance ads we have at home - one uses a friggin manic opera singer and I have to mute the sound every time it comes on!! It bugs the life out of me.

But on actual insurance? Personally I don't trust any of them!! They're all out to get your cash - and keep as much in when you want to claim it back! I've just stuck with the same insurance company that Mum and Dad used as probably the best of a very, very bad bunch!!

Great hub + voted up!!!


always exploring profile image

always exploring 5 years ago from Southern Illinois

Hello Kenneth, Interesting Hub. We had a tornado hit here last May. I had nineteen thousand five hundred dollars damage to my house. I had State Farm Insurance. I hired a contractor who met with the adjuster who came to assess the damage. They paid without any hassle, so i highly recommend that company, but like you point out, many are out to take your money, then not pay up.. Thank's for the article..Enjoyed..


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Nov. 9, 2011, 11:09 a.m/CST

Dearest Susan, THANK YOU SINCERELY for your sweet comment. I appreciate and savor all of your words. Tuesday I was gone to my pain clinic to get my 3 month pain shots in my spine, but they said I had to visit my primary health care provider because I made a mistake in telling them that I had an episode last Saturday morning with dizziness and nausea, and they felt that it was best for me to take care of that first, then get my shots. I am here for a little while to get caught up. I Hope your Wednesday is carefree and peaceful. With Much Affection, KENNETH


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Hi, Mary! I whole heartedly respect your opinion about Mahem...but to me, he is funny at looking serious always in the black suit. Thanks, Mary, dear friend, for your remark. Appreciate it. KENNETH


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Yes, Ive seen that annyoing opera singer ad, Seeker7..and it tears me up to. NO wonder my nerves stay on end and frayed. Thanks so MUCH for taking time to comment. I wanted to get a cross-section of opinions on which insurance mascot did the best work. How are things with you, Seeker? Happy and healthy, I hope. Thanks again, Kenneth


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

hello, always exploring!

Sorry to hear about your tornado damage. In this past April, the 27th, to be exact, we had five tornadoes made a 10 miles swath from the west to the northeast and it destroyed two nearby towns, and did huge damage to other major cities further away from us. Yes, State Farm is good. I use them for my wife's car. The agent is a dear friend whom Ive known since he was a teenage boy. Have a great day and start on your songs asap! Sincerely, Kenneth


always exploring profile image

always exploring 5 years ago from Southern Illinois

Kenneth, The song is here, put it on last night..Hope you enjoy..Cheers


Kathleen Cochran profile image

Kathleen Cochran 5 years ago from Atlanta, Georgia

I love these commercials! "Re-calculating" is my favorite. Can't listen to my Garmon without hearing that voice in my head! Great commentary on popular culture.


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

11/10/2011

always exploring: Wow, I WILL check it out ASAP. Told you that you could do it. And thanks for the comment. Appreciate it. KENNETH


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama Author

Hello, My New Friend, Kathleen . . .LOL, yes that particular commercial gets to me also. Thank YOU SO MUCH for your comment. I appreciate YOU taking the time to read this hub and make your remark that, I must say, made my day. Have a peaceful day yourself! Kenneth

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