Best of 2015 #8 Integrated/IX: Allstate's Mayhem Is Stalking Your Social Media for a Chance to Pounce

Ad Series Premieres During the Sugar Bowl on New Year's Day

Published On
Jan 05, 2015

Editor's Pick

Until New Year's, we'll be counting down the best work of the year in TV/Film/Branded Content, Print/Outdoor/Design and Interactive/Integrated (IX) as our picks of the day.

Number 8 in the integrated/interactive category, this campaign from Leo Burnett debuted on the first of the year and brought Allstate's popular Mayhem into the "real" world through a clever integrated play that illustrated a very current risk -- burglars who target their prey through social media. It was a brilliant evolution of one of our favorite spokecharacters.

Original Story:

Since 2010, Allstate's Mayhem has distracted drivers on the road with car washes and text messages, terrorized homeowners as a snowstorm and a racoon in the attic, and served as a reminder that it's important to have the right insurance when things go wrong.

Now, he's taking to the internet in a new series of spots created by Leo Burnett, which debuted nationwide on New Year's Day. In the ads, Mayhem is a burglar who finds targets on social media based on their travel plans. Describing himself as a "nerd burglar," he breaks into a couple's home while they're away and sells their stuff on the internet.

The campaign taps into a growing phenomenon of social media-savvy burglars. A 2011 U.K. study by Friedland, a home-security company, found that 78% of ex-burglars admitted to using social media to find targets. More than $16 billion a year is lost in property crimes, according to a 2013 FBI report.

"We're not saying don't use social media," said Pam Hollander, VP-integrated marketing communications at Allstate. "We're saying use it smartly. There are people out there posting everything about their lives and they leave themselves vulnerable."

The couple in the ads is real and so is the website where you can buy their stuff. Allstate discovered Matt and Shannon Moskal, who are both 25-years-old and who actively overshare on social media, through a market research study and enlisted their help for the campaign. The company built a replica of their home and many of their belongings for the ads.

"We feel very fortunate that this was a campaign from Allstate and not a real burglary," said Ms. Moskal, who is an Allstate customer. The couple said the experience hasn't changed what they post on social media, but it made them more aware of who they share their information with. They use their privacy settings now and have slimmed down their friends list. "Take the protection of your home into your own hands," she said.

Allstate used real people in the campaign -- a first for the insurer -- in order to make the ads relatable.

"We identified this couple that is just like everybody else out there," said Ms. Hollander. "They tell the world everything that's going on."

The story unfolded over eight ads that premiered during the Allstate Sugar Bowl, which aired on ESPN. The infomercial-style spots push an e-commerce site developed by Allstate where people could buy replica items from virtually every room in the Moskal's home, including a blender, TV, weed wacker and their car. And they're all at "Mayhemically-reduced" prices -- dirt-cheap.

The episodic approach is new for the Mayhem campaign. "We're going to really capture and engage audiences who experience it along the way with us," said Ms. Hollander.

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