Allstate Goes for Olympic Laughs

CHICAGO Allstate takes a humorous approach to its Olympic advertising in new television spots from Leo Burnett here.

The first spot, breaking this weekend during the U.S. Hall of Fame induction ceremony on USA Network, shows a weightlifter going for the gold in competition. As the athlete hoists 230 kilograms over his head and inspirational music plays, a voiceover from actor (and Allstate spokesman) Dennis Haysbert salutes “all the U.S. athletes who have taken a stand to become the best in the world.” The humorous twist comes as the weightlifter drops the barbell, which crashes through two floors and onto cars in a parking garage. The ads continue the Northbrook, Ill., company’s longtime theme, “Are you in good hands?”

“We want this campaign to help us ‘win’ the Olympic ad game—so we’ve stressed the awesome honor and power of Team USA and added a creative twist about when the unexpected happens—the good hands of Allstate will be there,” said Lisa Cochrane, the insurance company’s vice president of marketing communications, in a statement.

Filmmaker Mehdi Norowzian directed the spots. Burnett personnel behind the spots included group creative head Tim Pontarelli, creative director and copywriter Matt Horton, and art director and copywriter David Harner.

The campaign also includes print ads showing kids, intended to represent future Olympic athletes, playing sports, damaging property while practicing soccer and using cars as medals podiums. The ads will run concurrently with a previously announced effort touting an online consumer promotion called “Gold Medal Giveaway.”

Spending on the campaign was not disclosed. Allstate is a sponsor of the 2004 U.S. Olympic team.