Mayhem Can Happen to Everyone

Topics: Insurance, Rhetoric, Device Pages: 3 (990 words) Published: February 12, 2013
Mayhem Can Happen to Everyone

The largest insurance company after State Farm, Allstate was founded in 1931. Allstate produced commercials called “Mayhem” with American actor Dean Winters. These commercials are short and presented in a humorous manner. At the same time, these commercials show different, dangerous car accident situations that can happen everywhere and to everyone. This Allstate GPS commercial clearly demonstrates the fact that nobody is protected from unpredictable situations, and the rhetorical device most strongly used is the pathos of humor and fear.

Insurance companies drive their business from a feeling of customer safety, which plays into the idea of ethos or values because the insurance company should take care of its customers. Many companies attract customers by demonstrating commercials with a big house and happy family that can be protected by choosing a specific brand of insurance, which is also a form of ethos—family. Allstate defers from such images. Instead of showing a big, happy family with a friendly dog, it shows real, everyday situations that are include a high level of danger and can be harmful for people or their property, which plays more into the pathos of the situation. In such situations, Allstate appears like a hero who can come to help people who are afraid (pathos) anytime. This strategy is very effective because everyone could face these representations of dangerous situations that make the audience afraid and causes them to think about how to prevent them or protect themselves from them. Many people just prefer not to think about bad things happening, but such commercials can change their minds through persuasive pathos.

The actor Dean Winter plays The “GPS” character in the 30-second video. Allstate presents potential life situations. Another man is driving a car and follows the GPS direction. At one point, the GPS tells the man to turn right now, but when he does, he crashes. The commercial shows that...
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