Don’t Even Try to Skip This Leo Burnett Allstate Ad

By Patrick Coffee 

As we all know, The Martin Agency recently played off everyone’s favorite complaint about digital advertising by creating a series of GEICO ads that couldn’t be skipped…because they end before they even start.

It was a good idea that almost made up for the fact that cord-cutters like ourselves often see the same GEICO ad three times in a row with no recourse but to swear up and down that we will NEVER spend money on the client’s services even if we happen to be in desperate need of cheap car insurance. (We blame media buying agencies, because THEY ARE WASTING THE CLIENT’S MONEY.)

Now Leo Burnett and Allstate have produced a new variation on that “unskippable” theme: an ad that punishes the viewer for trying to make it go away.

The spot and its #SkipMayhem tag debuted about a week ago, but this is the first we’re seeing of it because we don’t happen to be friends with any Allstate salesmen on Facebook. It’s unfortunately not embeddable, so you have to click through to the site…not annoying at all!

skipmayhemThe underlying spot is a standard entry in the Mayhem canon, with Dean “Dennis Duffy” Winter playing the part of a buzzing phone that facilitates a wreck.

The fun starts when one tries to skip the ad…to be greeted instead with footage of a baby crying, a poorly played recorder, a man eating tin-foil and other forms of unjust punishment. Every time a viewer clicks “skip” he/she faces another variation on this multimedia version of the old water torture trick.

Eventually, the video devolves into grating metallic noise accompanied by this warning:

mayhem 3Meanwhile, Winter intones:

“You don’t have to watch this…just watch the ad.

I could do this all day.

You really don’t get it, do you? You can’t skip Mayhem.”

When asked for comment, Leo Burnett deferred to the client. We’ve yet to hear back from Allstate itself.

While we enjoyed this take on the “how annoying can an ad be?” theme, we wonder why insurance companies are the clients most in-tune to the annoyingly ubiquitous nature of their own campaigns. The model could very easily be applied to most bank ads, athletic wear ads, computer ads and, for God’s sake, automobile ads.

Maybe clients in those industries are simply more inclined to believe their own bullshit.