In the days leading up to the Super Bowl, Allstate talked glowingly about a "Mayhem" ad it planned to air immediately following the game. Described by the insurer as a "blockbuster," the spot by Leo Burnett showed the Mayhem character causing trouble throughout history, from the Garden of Eden to the Great Chicago Fire.
But in a curious move, the insurer called an audible at the last minute, replacing the spot with an old ad. Not only that, but Allstate scrubbed evidence of the new ad, removing it from its YouTube page, which now features the old "flag" ad that aired.
Asked about the change, Allstate Senior VP-Marketing Lisa Cochrane sent Ad Age the following email: "We couldn't get the 30-second version of [the new ad] to where we wanted it for the Super Bowl placement, so we decided to run the 'Mayhem Flag' ad late last week." She noted that the flag ad was a popular spot but had "only been run during college football games."
Asked if the new ad will ever run, Ms. Cochrane said: "We know we will have another excellent spot in the portfolio for future use." She said the move was "solely Allstate's decision," adding that there was "no issue from CBS." Ms. Cochrane said the ad was removed from the internet "to avoid any confusion." Leo Burnett declined to comment.
In that 60-second version, one scene spoofed the NFL replacement referees that the league used early in the season. That's apparently fair game, even for the NFL. During the league's "NFL Honors" show, which aired on CBS on Saturday, host Alec Baldwin made his own replacement-ref jokes. (See them here, starting around 5:50. )