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The 7 Most Horrifying Allstate Insurance Commercials

Here in Cubeville we have mixed views on the Allstate Insurance commercials starring Dennis Haysbert. Some think his voice is calm and reassuring, whereas I become agoraphobic every time he starts talking. Either way, the advertisements are not easily forgotten. In fact, thanks to some Allstate commercials that I saw years ago, I’m still afraid that every time I’m laughing and having a good time with my friends while driving through an intersection, I will be T-boned at any given moment.

I’ve compiled a list of the top 7 fear, phobia, and cold-sweat inducing advertisements. After watching some of these commercials, I feel as though I’ve developed a phobia for things that never even crossed my mind before, like burning my house down while deep frying a turkey or staged car accident scams.

Does this state of fear encourage me to get my hands on some Allstate Insurance? Are these scare-tactics, or marketing genius? You be the judge.

7. Slow Motion:

What Haysbert says: “Introducing the Safe Driver Bonus, with cash off your renewal bill every time you don’t have one of these.”
What I feel after watching this commercial: “Never again will I ever remove my hands from the steering wheel. 10 and 2. 10 and 2. 10 and 2.”

6. Trouble Never Takes a Holiday:

What Haysbert says: “Trouble never takes a holiday, neither should your insurance.”
What I feel after watching this commercial: “THE HOLIDAYS ARE A DEATH TRAP. 15 out of 2 million people burned their house down?! That is an alarming statistic! The holidays are cancelled! ABORT! ABORT!”

5. New Car Replacement:

What Haysbert says: “If your car is totaled in the first 3 years, you can get a brand new car.”
What I feel after watching this commercial: “Not only will you definitely crash your brand new car within the first 3 years, you will total it within MINUTES.”

4. Drive Down Scam:

What Haysbert says: “Fighting fraud helps keep your insurance affordable.”
What I feel after watching this commercial: “WHAT?! That’s a thing?! People do that?! Great. Now I’m afraid of something that I didn’t even know existed 30 seconds ago.”

3. Parent-Teen Driving Contract:

What Haysbert says: “Every year nearly 6,000 teenagers go out for a drive and never come back. Just talking to them can change that.”
What I feel after watching this commercial: “Hey teenagers, think you’re having a good time driving around with your friends? YOU WILL DIE.”

2. Friday Night:

What Haysbert says: “Most accidents happen on Fridays between 3 and 6 p.m., but with New Car Replacement … if your new car is totaled within the first 3 model years, you can get a new car.”
What I feel after watching this commercial: “Stay in on Fridays. Planning on going out with your friends? Don’t. Whatever you do, don’t even THINK about leaving the house between 3 and 6 p.m. on Friday.”

1. Protect Your World:

What Haysbert says: “You need more than just an insurance agent. You need an Allstate agent – someone who makes it their business to protect you.”
What I feel after watching this commercial: “WOW. No matter what I do, death and destruction is lurking right around the corner! At any second my entire house could go up in flames, I could get T-boned at an intersection, or have my identity stolen. NOWHERE IS SAFE.”

So there you have it – the 7 most terrifying Allstate Insurance Commercials. Whether you’re in favor or in fear of Haysbert, you can’t deny that these commercials are downright scary. If watching one advertisement was enough to give me an irrational fear for years, I can’t even imagine the impact that watching all 7 in a row will have on your state of paranoia. If Allstate’s marketing strategy worked, you may even be inspired to run out and purchase every form of Allstate Insurance that you can get your hands on.

What do you think? Does Haysbert’s voice soothe or scare you? Do you think these ads are effective? Are you as afraid to leave your house as I am?



Jenna Markowski

Jenna has a much easier time writing about the media and pop culture than she does writing about herself. She enjoys the simple things in life, like puns and typography. She is an avid fan of pop-punk, Halo 3, Spider-Man and origami, with a slight Taco Bell obsession. Her spirit animal is either a bulldog or a panda bear. You can also connect with Jenna on Google+ and Twitter.

Comments

  1. Amy Swanson

    I’m on the “Scary” team for Haysbert’s voice. It’s so alarmingly calm and collected all the time. Dude, that guy just got t-boned in a busy intersection and you’re showing no emotion!! Who does that besides serial killers??

    I guess their marketing works because after watching these ads I feel like I need to rush out and buy all of these policies and get my family and friends to do the same.

    Ps. Your feelings after watching the commercials perfectly summed up my feelings as well. Great job, Jenna!!

    • Jenna Markowski

      I’m glad you agree with me, Amy. As terrifying as these commercials are, I suppose they’re getting the job done. Nothing makes me feel like I need excessive amounts of insurance than a constant fear of impending doom!

      Thanks, Amy! :)

  2. Joseph Giorgi

    “Are these scare-tactics, or marketing genius?”

    I’d say both. The thing I like about Allstate’s advertisements is that they don’t pull any punches. They’re blunt, honest, and effective — perhaps overly so, but effective nonetheless.

    Very cool post, Jenna! This reminds me of something my driver’s ed instructor from high school used to say:

    “Driver’s ed is the most important class you’ll take in your LIFE, because it’s the only class that’ll KILL YOU if you don’t pay attention.”

    Honestly, that class was more intimidating than any commercial Allstate could ever produce. ;)

    • Jenna Markowski

      Thanks, Joe! I agree that it’s probably best that an insurance company makes ads that are realistic about the dangers facing their customers, rather than sugar-coating everything. An insurance company saying, “No, no, bad things don’t happen. You don’t need to worry about anything. But just in case, you might want insurance!” probably wouldn’t get to far.

      Yikes! I’m pretty sure my Driver’s ed teacher said something along those lines as well, and I’m positive saying something like that to a 16-year-old will get them to take driving seriously!

  3. Candice J.

    Haha I LOVE this post!!! I think my favorites are (3. Parent-Teen Driving Contract) and (2. Friday Night) respectively – your reactions are spot on (and hilarious). Instead of being comforting and informative they are rather just scary and alarming. I don’t think scaring the living Jesus out of your customers is going to encourage them to drive better. Hell, they might be worse for the wear for being to cautious and not adjusting to the situation surrounding them. This post def. made me laugh but also made me think about what type of emotion a commercial hopes to convey, and what they actually do! Great post Jenna!

    • Jenna Markowski

      Thanks, Candice! I’m glad you like it! I’m also glad that you’re on the scared-s***less side of this long-lasting debate. It looks like we’re winning!

      You bring up a good point that drivers who are too cautious can be just as dangerous as a careless driver. Hopefully these commercials haven’t actually caused anyone to become over-paranoid while driving, but instead caused people to simply be more aware of their surroundings (and for Allstate’s sake, buy some insurance)!

  4. Alex Brodsky

    First off, Dennis Haysbert (aka President Palmer, aka Pedro Cerrano) is AWESOME!

    I didn’t know it until I saw that commercial, but I definitely think I was almost a victim of that drive down scam. I was trying to turn right out of a strip mall and a giant-ass SUV came up next to me to turn left, blocking my sight. He saw me leaning to see around him, he looked left, then back to me and waved, telling me I’m all clear.

    I thought about going, but decided I shouldn’t when, all of a sudden: ZOOM! A car comes flying by. If I’d gone, I would have gotten slammed into. It would have been “front of car, meet driver’s door.” I might have been dead.

    Hope that story doesn’t scare you even more.

  5. Jen

    I’m not freaked out by these commercials I think they are informative. This stuff really happens and they want you to buy their insurance for protection if something like this does happen. You said it yourself that you didn’t know about the scams, but now you do, and I’m sure you will be just a bit more careful while on the road. Sure it’s scary, but driving can be dangerous and I think people forget that sometimes. Accidents happen.

    They wanted to get our attention, and obviously they have. Marketing Genius.

    Great post Jenna, I loved you reaction commentary, you had me cracking up!

  6. Jaimie Smith

    This was an awesomeeee post, Jenna! Its very real! i never really paid much attention to those commercials until right now. And The Drive Down Scam! That is complete BS if you ask me. I’d be so pissed if anyone ever did that to me.

  7. Mandy Kilinskis

    Hmmm, I generally find his voice pretty calming, but these seven commercials are pretty dang terrifying. Still though, I think that I’ll still stick with comforting. I do feel that with all of these bad things happening, Allstate will be there for me with a safety net and a soothing, calm voice.

    I think between Haysbert’s calm and Mayhem’s…well, mayhem…Allstate has come up with an excellent dose of marketing genius.

  8. Rachel

    I’d have to agree with Jen here and say I find them more informative than scary. Maybe a little jarring sometimes, but I’ve never been in fear for my life after watching those commercials … I can understand how they could be frightening, though!

    Also, regarding this: “Never again will I ever remove my hands from the steering wheel. 10 and 2. 10 and 2. 10 and 2.” I’m pretty sure I’ve heard that if you have your hands in that position when your airbag goes off that you could seriously hurt/break your hands … so, if you’re in an accident, remember to move your hands lower on the steering wheel right before impact! Hah. Just one more thing to freak out about while driving… ;)

  9. Eric

    Now that eSurance has partnered up with Allstate, is there any chance we can get John Krasinski on these voice-overs to make them sound a little less like they’re threatening some sort of impending automobile doom? Please?

    Thanks!

    Eric

  10. Marcus

    I would just like to say that the insurance company Allstate does want you to think that there is danger lurking around every corner because it really is. You don’t know what could happen in life so why take the risk of being unprotected? Yes you may get into an accident and your car could be totally destroyed but why take the risk of having to deal with it on your own when you can have someone else deal with it and have that back up plan secure for you? Insurance companies are there to make money off you in any way they can even if its by scaring the shit out of you. So to me why you are scared doesn’t make sense…..

  11. Matt

    I don’t like the new Dracula commercial. Just saw it for the first time. It’s kind of creepy.

  12. Bonnie

    Now they have a NEW scary one saying that every minute across the world lightning strikes but we still play in the rain – showing children holding hands and jumping in a puddle in the rain. Terrible idea! That will help you get struck by lightning for sure! What the heck????

  13. Jim

    I was feeling nostalgic for the “Drive Down” ad and found this page. Your reaction was exactly mine when they were running that commercial. “That’s a thing???!? I’m NEVER driving again!!!”, LOL.
    I think they added Mayhem to bring “the Lighter Side of Daily Risking Your Life” to the airwaves.

  14. Bill w

    Hasbert’s voice is awful for commercials I do not like hearing him . Back on stage or movies you don’t need the dough and we don’t want to hear you inappropriate commercial voice!

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