Ten years ago, if you were watching TV, you were forced to sit through the commercials (or take that call from nature you'd been holding), but now with the popularity of DVR systems, TV ads are basically optional for most people. Maybe insurance companies realized they had better start grabbing the public's attention or maybe they all just happened to hire really creative ad firms at the same time. Either way, the quality and humor in commercials for an incredibly boring industry have been on the rise. Even if you don't buy a policy from the company after seeing these commercials, you certainly won't forget them anytime soon.
Allstate Raccoon Mayhem
You might recognize Dean Winters from the HBO series, Oz. He may seem familiar from his small role on 30 Rock. But realistically, you'll probably see him first and foremost as Allstate's Mayhem. He's played an emotional teenage girl, a hot jogger, and a malfunctioning GPS, but one of the highlights in the Mayhem series is this ad where Winters plays a raccoon in your attic. Even though he's dressed in a suit, you kind of believe him when he says he's already had, like, four babies.
Kevin Federline for Nationwide
In 2009, Kevin Federline seemed to be free of the Britney Spears crazy train after a divorce, custody battle, and pop-star meltdown. Most people were glad to be rid of the couple, so we were all surprised when a Super Bowl commercial came on showing K-Fed as a hip-hop VIP. Apparently Federline is fully aware that he's a bit of a joke, because the ad cuts to the former backup dancer working in a fast-food restaurant being scolded by the manager. This is a side of K-Fed and Nationwide we like.
When you shell out money to have your ad aired during the Super Bowl, you want it to have a certain impact. It may be reaching to the lowest common denominator of humor, but if America's Funniest Home Videos has taught us anything, it's that crotch kicks get big laughs. SafeAuto shows us what it's really like to not be insured, and it's definitely not pretty.
Geico "Was Abe Lincoln honest?"
Geico has had a lot of memorable commercials and spokesmen over the years, and one of their most recent campaigns has provided us with a variety of jokes. "Overly serious, hard-boiled question guy" asks ridiculous, seemingly rhetorical questions and we are then shown that the answer is undoubtedly "yes." In this one in particular, question guy asks, "Was Abe Lincoln honest?" Our poor noble president is then seen being asked by his wife whether her dress makes her backside look big. And he can't lie to her. That must've been a hard life for Honest Abe.
AllState and Kasey Kahne
You don't have to be a NASCAR fan or know who driver Kasey Kahne is to appreciate this commercial. A group of ladies start fantasizing about what they would do with Kahne — don't worry, it's all PG. Somehow it's believable, though, that these women would be imagining themselves helping him fix up his car and letting him paint their toe nails. That's totally how the female brain works, right? The driver probably should've had her head in the game, though, because she ends up causing an accident that crushes Kahne's car. She probably won't be seeing those fantasies come to life.
First For Women Insurance
We might think of women stereotypically as terrible drivers, but this Australian company caters exclusively to the feminine sex. And honestly, once you watch the commercial, you'll completely understand why. It seems there's a reason that men's car insurance rates are traditionally higher, and part of the reason might be that they like to tease each other when they should be watching the road. Let this be a lesson to all the men out there!
Farmers Insurance Group Cat Burglar
As insurance companies have gotten more creative with their advertising, it seems like every major company has gotten in on the trend. Farmers Insurance came out with their University of Farmers campaign (and an undeniably catchy jingle) that put them in ad competition with the best in the business. By signing J.K. Simmons as the Farmers professor and coming up with strange but applicable situations you'd want your insurance to cover, Farmers has created some memorable and significant commercials, like this one where you see them training to deal with a skilled burglar.
Geico and The Flintstones
Between the mass of gecko and caveman commercials, some of the more entertaining Geico commercials have been forgotten. This one features the real story of the Flintstones, making you wonder just where Wilma did get that huge necklace. Obviously the answer has to do with Fred switching his foot-driven Flintmobile to Geico, but sadly, it put a strain on the Flintstones' relationship with the Rubbles.
State Farm "Magic Jingle Hot Tub"
If State Farm is trying to seriously disappoint young people with their actual insurance coverage, this ad campaign will do the trick. Nevertheless, it makes us really want one of these agents that pops up as soon as you sing the jingle. In this commercial, a State Farm agent can magically provide you with sandwiches, your hot neighbor, and a hot tub. That's not exactly how insurance works, but who cares? There's a hot girl and a hot tub. Sign us up!
Nationwide's World's Greatest Spokesperson
OK, some insurance company spokespeople have the tendency to get on your nerves (we're looking at you, Flo at Progressive), and The World's Greatest Spokesperson definitely walks the line sometimes. But he's brought a youthful air to the old insurance company, made the jingle nationally recognizable, and hey, he even saved the dude's coffee in this commercial. He seems like a success.