Insurance companies race to help you prepare for Hurricane Alex

Posted on Wed Jun 30 2010


The advent of social media has prompted a new style of communication between brands and consumers: pre-emptive communication. If you've friended Progressive, State Farm or Allstate on Facebook, for instance, you will have received tips from them in your Facebook stream on how to prepare for Hurricane Alex. I'll have to assume Allstate's five tips aren't rated in order of importance (No. 1: Check your insurance coverage. No. 5: Plan your evacuation.) Progressive, meanwhile, earns points for focusing on safety (as does State Farm) but loses a couple for alternating its dire warning with a prompt to see a new ad starring spokeswoman Flo and Pickles, a dog that does tricks.

—Posted by Todd Wasserman

Dennis Haysbert now doing Allstate commercials in Spanish, too

Posted on Thu Apr 22 2010

Actor Dennis Haysbert has one of the best voices in the business—an attribute that hasn't escaped the attention of Allstate. For a few years, the insurer has tapped Haysbert's sonorous vocal stylings for its TV ads, which depict the actor as the voice of reason in an uncertain world. This month, for the first time, Haysbert is also delivering those lines—at least the tagline—in Spanish. According to an Allstate rep, the use of a mainstream, non-Spanish-speaking actor for ads en español is highly unusual. In fact, the company's PR department has been trying to find other instances as it mulls making a "first in the industry" claim. In previous ads, Allstate has used a "voice of God" Spanish announcer as a voiceover, but the rep said Haysbert tracked much better with Spanish-speaking consumers even if his command of the language is a bit shaky. Said the rep, a native Spanish speaker: "You can hear his accent."

—Posted by Todd Wasserman

CMO watch: you're in good, albeit interim, hands with Allstate

Posted on Thu Jan 29 2009

Joan-walker defines interim as being "a temporary or provisional arrangement" that leaves a time frame open-ended. But in practice, how long can someone remain an "interim" this or that?
  Case in point: Ever since Allstate CMO Joe Tripodi left to become CMO of Coca-Cola way back in July 2007, his replacement, Joan Walker, has been referred to as an "interim CMO," a job title she holds to this day. By way of comparison, Wendy's appointed an interim CMO, Paul Kershisnik, in February 2008, a position he held for seven months until Ken Calwell took the reins in September.
  As an insurance company, Allstate is wary of taking risks. But come on, it's been more than a year and a half. Time to roll the dice!

—Posted by Todd Wasserman



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