Yes, I admit it. I enjoy the Allstate Mayhem commercials. During March basketball, Allstate has aired the ad that tells us “It’s March, It’s Mayhem” during the tournament. The campaign first premiered in June of 2010. Mayhem is played by veteran actor Dean Winters . More on him in a bit.
I enjoy the commercials of Mayhem wrecking havoc as a reckless maid, or a team flag, or a Christmas tree that falls off the car. There is also a running gag throughout the campaign; Mayhem sports the damage and injuries that he sustained in the previous spots such as scratches on his face or rips in his suit. For instance, he has bandages on his face
Allstate claims that it airs this campaign because it wanted to focus attention on the benefit of insurance protection while adding the humor of things Mayhem says like, “please don’t take my aggressive tailgating the wrong way. I’m just more important than you”. Or, when a tree falls on a car, ” Yes it was a bad storm. But look on the bright side, now you get that sunroof that you always wanted.”
The topic of insurance coverage would be a good blog topic. However, for this blog, I am focusing on the story of Dean Winters and how he managed to rebound from true Mayhem in his own life.
Prior to signing on as Mayhem, Winters had appeared in many television series that included Oz, 30 Rock, Law and Order: Special Victims Unit, and Rescue Me. For me, when I saw the Mayhem commercials, I knew that I recognized him but I could not place from any specific TV show, and I did not know his name. He had not yet arrived to a steady Hollywood income.
On June 19, 2009, following the shooting of a Pilot titled Happy Town, Winters contracted a bacterial infection. He became increasingly sick and collapsed upon the arrival to his doctor’s office. While being transported to the emergency room, his heart stopped beating for a total of two and a half minutes. After paramedics revived him, he remained in intensive care for three weeks.
Over the course of the following year, Winters continued to experience continuing problems that included developing gangrene, which led to the amputation of two toes and half of one thumb. Thereafter, he endured ten subsequent operations that included a skin graft. Because of his illness, he was replaced in Happy Town , and he was away from acting for over a year. Then, Tina Fey brought him back to work on her 30 Rock series, which led to his Mayhem character.
I do like the Mayhem character but I think I am most impressed with the Winters’ story. He has faced obstacles and overcome them and now he is playing a character that shows that we need insurance protection from these obstacles and mishaps. At the same time, it is estimated that he is earning in excess of a million a year at Mayhem. He also joked in an Ad Age interview that “I wanted to become an actor so I didn’t have to put on a suit and sell insurance”.
DID YOU KNOW that ancient Egyptians slept on pillows made of stone? The Egyptians believed that the head was an important spiritual and life center for the body. Pillows were not necessarily for comfort as much as protection. Wealthy Egyptians also had pillows carved out of wood to allow for good air circulation.
For pic o’ day, I would call this “no responsibility”.