Thursday, August 5, 2010

An Open Letter Regarding Insurance Company Advertising

Yes, All State, Progressive, and State Farm, I’m talking to you. You’ve ruined every show I can think of by constantly inundating me with the annoyance that is your commercials. You seem to think you can break my will by inserting your idiot spokespeople into every 30 second slot in the known universe.

Your approach is akin to Neil Goldman trying to get a date with Meg Griffin on Family Guy: relentless and ineffective. You’re like the president of the chess club repeatedly asking out the head cheerleader, hoping upon hope that the force of sheer will and attrition will land those pom-poms and that multi-colored skirt on the floorboards of your dad’s ’97 Camry. It won’t work. All the chess club dork ends up with is low self-esteem and a restraining order. And all you’ve managed to do is make the mute button as familiar as the menu button on my satellite remote.

And stop, for the love of Charles in Charge, telling me how much I’m going to save with you versus another company! It comes across a bit insincere when every single one of you, and all of your competitors, are making that claim. If I could save that much off of every one of you, insurance wouldn’t cost a cent!! You can’t ALL be the cheapest option, if the laws of mathematics still hold true. (And they do, right? I mean, not more than a handful of years ago, Pluto was still a planet and we all saw how that worked out!)

All State, you are the least of the offenders. But you are not without stain and blame, so don’t pat yourself on the back too quickly. Dennis Haybert is a commanding presence and a better than decent actor, but he only PLAYED the President on TV; he can’t actually order anyone to do anything. And seriously, “Your in Good Hands”? Still sticking with that slogan after all these years? At the end of the day, it just makes it sound like your claims providers are sitting in a van next to a playground with a bag of candy and a bottle of chloroform! “Get in the van, kid, you can save money on your auto insurance!!”

And yes, I just equated insurance companies to child molesters. Thought it couldn’t be done? Oh. It’s done!

All State, you’re up next. I don’t know if it’s the theme music you have infesting my ears in every one of your ads or the condescending prick you hired to be your talking bobble-head. Either way, STOP THAT! BAD INSURANCE COMPANY! BAD!! Maybe I don’t want to confer with my friends and “Tu familia”, as that massive blowhole put it (which is a whole other gripe of mine, since I don’t happen to be a big fan of Telemundo). It’s been my experience that insurance companies are very adept at finding individual ways to screw each customer out of their money, while denying claims with absolute indiscretion. As it happens, not all of my family (yeah, in English, Chichi) and friends are 36-year-old white males, driving a Hyundai Tiburon GT, with only one single traffic violation in the last 5 years. In fact, none of them are. So I’m guessing their experience might not necessarily translate. But nice try.

And that brings us to you, Progressive. The worst offender of the bunch, with your insurance-company-cum-grocery-store ad campaign. One stereotypically annoying customer after another, demonstrating that you insure every motorized form of transportation on the planet. Bravo. Whoopidy-freakin-doo, you insure wave runners. A fat lot of good that does someone after they smack their skull against a pier at 30 mph. Can’t file a claim from a coma, can you? Yet worse than this, and worse then the black-haired ass-puppet that All State is marching out, is the Progressive girl: Flo. Say good-bye to the career train, Flo, because this little stop in your professional life is the end o’ the line. Back to community theater for you! This character is more annoying than all the rest combined for the thick veneer of oblivious optimism, enthusiasm, and repressed self-lament that convinces me that in her off-time, she spends her night quietly poised on end of her couch, surrounded by cats, with the double-barrels of a shot gun lodged firmly in her yap; her trembling thumb pressed precariously against the trigger in a tête-à-tête with the inevitable. I weep for you, Flo. God rest your soul when you are predictably replaced as spokes-whore by an animated, talking opossum.

In closing, I would say that the three of you could take a lesson from Geico, which while still annoying, is, at the very least, kid-friendly. That is all, ladies and gentlemen. Thank you for your time. Now… go screw.

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