A Lukewarm Perspective: Insurance commercials


Photoillustration by Luke Jordan

Senior Luke Jordan sits at his desk in the State Farm headquarters, describing his pants to an enraged lady over the phone.

Insurance: something I know nothing about. Why are there so many types? Why can’t there just be one type? Why do I keep asking rhetorical questions to nobody knowing I’m not getting any answers? It’s all so confusing to someone like me, a senior in high school who doesn’t do his own taxes and relies on the adults in his life to do all the hard stuff for him. But, if there’s one thing I know, it’s whether or not I like an insurance company based solely on the ads they run on TV. I’ve compiled a list of my favorites from a few major companies, enjoy.

Allstate: Cleaning Lady (2013)

This commercial is one in a long series following Mayhem, a character whose purpose is pretty self-explanatory. This ad in particular has him dressed up in a partial maid outfit as he causes all sorts of, well, mayhem: knocking over a vase, sucking a curtain through a vacuum and falling down a flight of steps with perfect comedic timing. I’m not sure if they seriously injured a stunt double or somehow used CGI, but that Kramer from Seinfeld-esque fall got a good laugh out of me.

Liberty Mutual: I don’t like any of them

Like the title implies, I have yet to see a good Liberty Mutual commercial. LiMu Emu, Double Dutch, the Fortune Teller, the magician one, they’re all terrible. If you’ve managed to find a good one and would be so kind, please send it to me at the email address in my bio. I’m not kidding, I’ll be awaiting your reply.

GEICO: Scoop There It Is (2021)

If you’re looking for inconsistency, GEICO is your company. The overwhelming majority of the time, GEICO creates a stupid, boring or downright cringeworthy commercial that even the cockney-accent gecko can’t save. But, this ad in particular I find amusing. GEICO, a company known for selling car insurance, was able to revive 1990s hip-hop group Tag Team to perform an ice cream-related parody of their most famous song, “Whoomp There It Is.” What a time to be alive.

State Farm: Jake From State Farm (2011)

Other than the Reese’s Puffs rap commercial (which I also mention here), the original Jake From State Farm commercial is the greatest advertisement I’ve ever seen. It might just be the nostalgia talking, but that commercial is an example of great writing and even greater acting. Simple premise, no high-tech videography, just a wife convinced her husband is cheating on her over the phone with an insurance agent. Jake, played by real State Farm employee Jake Stone, delivers his two-word line “uh… khakis” with an attitude and cadence this new Jake hasn’t been able to replicate. When 7-year-old me first saw that commercial, I was convinced that State Farm was the right choice for me. It didn’t matter that I was neither old enough for insurance nor understood what insurance was. I wanted it and I needed it.