Published on The Daily Femme – Monday, August 30, 2010
Contributed by Annamarya
Early this month, Cherie reported on Allstate’s TV AD: Mayhem is Coming Teen Driver, which does a terrifically offensive job of portraying teenage girls as “reckless careless bimbos.” In that ad (based on an Allstate survey that found that 48 percent of girls admitted to likely driving 10 miles over the speed limit, 16 percent described their driving as aggressive and half admitted to likely driving while texting or talking on the phone), the “typical” teenage female driver recklessly pulls a hit and run—in a massive medicinal pink SUV, with huge pink glasses on her head, while reading a text on a blinged out cell phone about her BFF Becky kissing a boy she likes. Her “emotional distress” and subsequent “mayhem” is summed up with this little ditty: “Whoopsies. I’m all ‘OMG, Becky’s not even hot.’” I’m pretty sure you can understand why we here at The Daily Femme we were offended by that.
And, not necessarily to our surprise, Allstate did it again—and this time, in the form of a female jogger. Let me set this up for you: This woman (or “hot babe,” as Allstate describes her in the commercial) is wearing (surprise!) a pink head band, carrying pink weights, and jogging down her street to make sure that “this” (re: her body) “stays a ten.” A guy drives by checking her out and, because he isn’t looking at where he’s going, hits a pole. On the surface, that’s fine. It happens. When people don’t pay attention on the road, an accident can happen. But the problem with this latest commercial isn’t just the “hot babe” or the reckless driver—it’s the dialogue at the end: “So get Allstate. Save cash and be better protected from mayhem, like me.” (“Me,” of course, being the jogger).
I won’t lie. When I saw the first commercial in the Allstate’s “Mayhem is Coming” campaign, which involves a puppy ripping up the backseat of a car, I thought it was funny. I have cats that can be destructive to my possessions, so I understood in my own way. I even found the tree branch falling on a car commercial relatable. Admittedly, those two things fall under the “mayhem” category because they are unpredictable and can destroy your property when you least expect it. But to blame a female jogger for a driver’s stupidity? That’s just offensive. It’s the driver’s fault the car accident happened in the first place,he took his eyes off the road. He is mayhem, not the female jogger. And why the hell is she in pink anyways? Is it some play on the asinine color associations, where blue equals boy and pink equals girl, that have been engrained in our psyche? And what are you going to tell us next, Allstate? That we shouldn’t leave the house dressed in miniskirts if we don’t want to be sexually assaulted?
I don’t own a car or even have a license but once I acquire both, you best be sure I am not giving my money to Allstate.