Allstate, Leo Burnett and Some Guy Named Caleb Won College Football

By Patrick Coffee 

You may be aware that Alabama beat Clemson 45-40 last night to become the kings of college football for the fourth time in the past seven years, yawn.

The real winners of last night’s game, though, were sponsor AT&T and Allstate…in addition to Nissan and all the other brands whose ads appeared during a contest that kept many East Coasters up at least 15 minutes past their bedtimes.

For Allstate, Leo Burnett concluded its “Mayhem DIY” campaign.

Last month, the titular character (who we cannot see without thinking of Beeper King Dennis Duffy) promised to re-enact users’ worst case scenarios as shared on the social medias rather than relying on the company and Leo’s writers to come up with the material on their own.

It’s similar, in a way, to RPA’s recent work for Farmers Insurance, which brought agents’ craziest claims to life.

Here’s the first spot, which aired on New Year’s Eve.

In subsequent ads, Mayhem illustrated these four individuals’ facepalm moments and asked fans to vote for them in the interest of seeing those recreations and naming a winner/loser.

Here’s the story of one Julianna, who had a problem with her plumbing.

Next, Leanne’s dad must be super psyched to know that his DIY fail and “ever-loving-dadness” inspired the next spot.

First-time homeowner Chris wisely sought advice for his home repair fails in the most reliable place: reddit. (It was already too late, of course.)

Finally, our winner: Caleb Gauff of California, who works for Nike but enjoys playing with chainsaws in his spare time because why the hell not?!

The microsite calls him “the failiest DIY failer ever to fail,” and that spot did make our credit cards hurt. Last night, Mayhem revealed that the real story was a little bit more complicated.

Meanwhile, Gauff enjoyed his momentary fame, and we were very impressed by the response from this self-described redneck strongman.

Someone put that guy in a commercial.

Here’s what we took from the campaign: renters have it pretty good. Landlords and supers actually do serve a purpose, and we sort of take them for granted while also assuming that the threats we never actually made regarding negative Yelp reviews will somehow force them to fix our leaky bathroom ceilings on the FIRST round next time. (They tried four times before they got it right, but we didn’t have to pay anything, so there’s that.)

Now what would you do with a $25,000 Lowe’s gift card? Buy a better chainsaw?


Client: Allstate
Agency: Leo Burnett Chicago
Ad or Campaign: Mayhem DIY
Executive Creative Director: Charley Wickman
Creative Directors: Mikal Pittman, Britt Nolan
Associate Creative Directors: Pete Lefebvre, Mike Costello
Art Director: Derek Heinze
Group Executive Producer: Veronica Puc
Producer: Leah Karabenick
Account Directors: Dave Macey, Jon Linton
Director Sweepstakes, Games and Contests: Amanda McKinney

Production Company: Anonymous Pictures
Director: Tim Godsall
Editorial: Arcade Edit

Promotion Company: PrizeLogic