The Allstate insurance commercials featuring an actor portraying mayhem has crossed a line, deciding, for some strange reason, to slander man's best friend.
The Wikipedia entry (for Dean Winters, the actor playing "Mayhem") says, "On 6/20/2010, Winters was introduced as Mayhem, the recurring character in a new television and radio advertising campaign for Allstate Insurance created by the agency Leo Burnett Chicago. The campaign is centered around the idea that paying too little for insurance could result in customers not getting the best coverage or service for their money. In an analysis of the 15-second teaser spots, Stuart Elliott, advertising columnist of The New York Times, called Mayhem... a throwback to a kind of ad character that was once hugely popular: the bad guy who causes problems that the product being advertised solves..."
Sounds innocent enough. That is, until a recent installment of the campaign where Mayhem/Winters portrays the family dog, left to "hold down the fort" while his owners go out to see a movie. A gang of burglars enter the home and proceed steal everything not nailed down while the dog allows it to happen. Winters as Mayhem/The family says, "luckily for me, your friends showed up with this awesome bone". Then he yells at the thieves, "hey, you guys are great!".
Come on! Unless the dog was TRAINED to protect the home, is it really fair to suggest he's allowing the crime to take place? The spot is titled "Guard Dog", but I think that's intended as a criticism of the dog, who will be blamed by the ignorant owners when they return and see their PET has "allowed" the robbery to occur. Pets aren't trained service animals. Their only job is to provide companionship. The homeowners are lucky they didn't have to deal with a dead or injured dog (and expensive vet bills).
Instead they only lost some items of a low to moderate value. At one point in the commercial one of the thieves grabs some "silverware" from a drawer. Except the eating utensils are in the drawer loose. Valuable silverware isn't stored in this manner. Another grabs what is most likely a virtually worthless print from above the mantle. One of the thieves takes the "chandler" from over the kitchen table. Clearly these dumb crooks don't know what they're doing.
After subtracting the cost of the bone, these incompetent criminals may not have gotten away with much. Not anything that the family pet should have put his life or safety on the line for, even if it did understand what was going on.
Video: Allstate Mayhem TV Ad Guard Dog. Published 4/15/2012 (0:31).